A competence-duration model for universities in 2030
2major states, Norway and Switzerland remain separate from the EU
although taking part inmany of the EU instruments including the Lifewide Open Learning Programme.
Talk two decades ago of a “two
turned out to be an oversimplification
as didthat of a single currency
with the deuro introduced in some EU countries in 2018 andsteurling in several others (old and new) in 2020. Freedom of movement is absolute butfreedom of employment more circumscribed
with social payments monitored and transfer payments routine.Moreover, outside the formal EU, there are several new layers of collaboration. Mostcritically, the logic of banking reform meant that the European microstates (includingLiechtenstein) felt that they lost some freedom of action when they became
the process of achieving this was tortuous and incredibly sensitive to history andculture, yet was inexorable
similar “tidying up” in other regions was driven largely by theUS and OECD. The process was useful, especially since the “Andorra solution” was
recentlyapplied to Gibraltar and Kosovo. For education, the European Higher Education Area grewinto the Euro-Med Higher Education Area (EMHEA) by 2020, the same year that a EuropeanSchools Area, later the Euro-Med Schools Area, was created (under the Athens-Ankaraaccords) to parallel Bologna for Higher Education. Because these Areas reach far east andsomewhat south, relevant policies of the EU and the Areas are now translated into Russianand Arabic.
Science, technology, society and economics
While the worst fears of a “lost decade” did not come to pass,
significant growth in the EUdid not resume until 2020 and in the last decade has still been patchy, measured in traditionalways. The reasons for this have been much discussed
on the negative side is the increasingeducation gap (especially in higher education) between the EU and its rival trade blocs
most notably Norte-America, Mercosul, Australasia, Union of Slavo-Turkic Republics(USTR), South Asia, Sinosphere, Gulf Cooperation Council
coupled with an inexorableknowledge flow from EU researchers to other parts of the world (the EU committed to fullOpen Access in 2020; other blocs did not, with the exception of Australasia and Norte-America), but on the positive side is that the traditional measures of GNP are now seen tofocus too much on non-value-added activities (like banking) and too little on non-monetisedactivities (like much of the care of children and old people). But the upshot is that many EUcitizens do not feel particularly well off and are particularly keen to see that their taxes are put towards issues that they feel are important to them and their families.Mention of families reminds us that there has been since 2020 an increase in marriage andchildbearing in citizens of most EU countries.
This has put to rest many fears of the “old people’s EU” and “child
prevalent in the 2010s. It is too glib to interpret this asa rise in social conservatism
indeed, some counter-argue that it is a consequence of theflexible and better-paid nature of many jobs including for women; others as the rise of
“religious convictions” among
the majority not subscribing to the organised religions activein the enlarged EU. Many argue that with a working life of over 50 years for most professionals (from 25 to 75), the gap taken out for childrearing is much smaller percentage-wise than it was two decades earlier and with a decline in ageism, the ticking clock of career transitions is not so loud. Europeans may feel (with reason) that work harder and longer andget less state support than the previous generation but by comparison with many nearbycountries (some still in considerable chaos) they still feel well looked after, comparatively
speaking. And after much policy and financial work on the “social contract”, unemployment
has declined a lot
even if too many jobs are short-term, part-time and not always well-paid.