Promoting STEM and digital competences: The role of the European Commission

STEM and digital competences play an important role in the European Education Area. Numerous existing as well forward-looking initiatives at EU level focus on STEM education and the development of digital competences to better prepare people for changing labour markets and active citizenship in more diverse, mobile and digital societies.

The Commission champions the so-called STEAM approach to STEM education, which embraces the creative potential of linking the arts, scientific inquiry, the humanities, and the social sciences. It also puts a strong focus on development of basic skills, which includes literacy, numeracy and digital skills as well as other key competences such as creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and communication.

The Erasmus+ programme and other financial instruments have supported a variety of projects in the area of STEM education, e.g. the Scientix network, the STEM Alliance, and the EU STEM Coalition. The Commission sets out 11 actions to develop digital skills in the Digital Education Action Plan. One of the actions is EU Code Week. Another action is SELFIE – a self-assessment tool developed by the Commission to help schools better use technology for teaching and learning.

The goal of the session is to explore new avenues for support at EU level to Member States in their efforts to increase the levels of achievement and interest in STEM disciplines and digital skills.

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