Edition 181 - May 2016

G7 Ministers of Education meet in Japan – Outcomes & Priorities

After 10 years of time-out, the G7 Education Ministers meeting was held once again on 14-15 May in Japan, Kurashiki. During his one week visit, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tilbor Navracsics, and Hiroshi Hase, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, met with the aim to advance a dialogue on common interests for strengthening higher education partnerships and the advancement of world class institutions. Particularly the exchange of good practice, encouraging closer relations between senior officials and experts from both sides on a range of challenges, placed central. Closer cooperation on increased mobility and recognition of qualifications, forecasting of future skills needs, development of the role of universities in society as well as effective use of technologies, framed the policy dialogue.         

The G7 meeting closed with the adoption of the Kurashiki Declaration, committed to raising efforts of world leaders towards making education a key priority on the policy agenda, as well as the  implementation of the SDGs. The declaration calls for equitable and inclusive learning environments for young people regardless of background, gender equality, better integration of ICTs, as well as greater support for the teaching profession.

In the dimeson of Higher education, guiding principles in the declaration for the G7 are:

  • Continuously create good opportunities allowing young people from around the world to experience other educational systems, cultures and traditions and to share their values.
  • More open interaction among institutions, students, teachers, and researchers belonging to different regional higher education networks and participation in international programs promoting learning experiences.
  • Promoting studying abroad in higher education but also cross-border interactions starting at primary and lower secondary level
  • Supporting women who aspire  STEM careers through higher education

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova stressed the need of education to focus on equity, quality, lifelong learning and skills required by societies of the 21st century (encompassed in SDG4). Education and its preventive role for radicalizations found shared resonance within the G7 representatives, Hiroshi Hase asserting the importance of education in overcoming divides, fostering understanding and solving questions of marginalization. He also stressed the significance of strengthening cooperative efforts among stakeholders, UNESCO, OECD and the EU.       

Hosting the next G7 meeting, Italy assured its commitment to facilitating a dedicated gathering between education ministers to advance sharing of best practices and concerted actions.

European Commission
UNESCO – press release
Kurashiki Declaration

 

(back to newsletter)