Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education
7th session - Brussels, Belgium, 8-10 June 1971

Resolution on policy and planning in post-secondary education (N1)

Resolution on mobility of students and teachers in higher education and of research workers (N2)

Resolution on function and working methods of the Conference (N3)

Resolution on the information document on the work of the international organisations, and main themes of forthcoming conferences and priority areas for European action and co-operation in education (N4)

Resolution on policy and planning in post-secondary education (N1)  

(adopted during the seventh Conference of  Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe, Brussels, Belgium, 8-10 June 1971)

The European Ministers of Education, at their Seventh Conference

HAVING CONSIDERED the reports on policy and planning in postsecondary education by the Belgian and Dutch Ministers and by Professor William TAYLOR,

EXPRESS their gratitude to the authors of these reports and to OECD and the Council of Europe for having submitted additional information,

OBSERVE after a wide-ranging exchange of views, a convergence of their concerns,

EMPHASISE that, although each national system can and must find its own answers to the problems of reform and expansion of postsecondary education in the framework of its institutions, new developments in one country have often led to parallel developments in other countries, thus contributing to the harmonisation of the organisation and content of post-secondary education in Europe,

SHARE a common outlook on the following policy issues of postsecondary education:

1. Educational policy and planning guided by such goals as development of the individual, economic growth, welfare, democratisation and internationalisation, call for wider and more equal participation in education of people of different social or regional origin, sex and age.

The demand for education and in particular for postsecondary education will as a rule continue to increase throughout the seventies. The rate of expansion will depend on available resources. In setting priorities, the demands of the educational sector have to be weighed against the other sectors of society, and within the educational sector, those of post-secondary education against other needs, e.g. the continuing education of those who received only a short education in their youth.

The evolution of post-secondary education must be oriented towards the development of general knowledge, and cultural values as well as towards practical utility.

2. In most countries reform and expansion of secondary and postsecondary education have been planned separately although integrated planning has everywhere been advocated. In future greater stress must be laid on integrated policy and planning of the various stages of education. In particular upper secondary education and post-secondary education must be conceived as interdependent and continuing and recurrent education must be given its appropriate place.

3. Diversity and unity should be recognised as the guiding principles for the organisation of post-secondary education. By diversifying educational offerings a greater variety in the patterns and duration of studies can be achieved to correspond more closely to the motivations and aspirations of individual students and to the demands for various types of qualifications and skills. Such diversification can also facilitate the decentralisation of postsecondary provision.

The unity of post-secondary institutions must be secured by ways and means appropriate to the national systems concerned. It is imperative to reduce differences of status between post-secondary institutions and to ensure effective co-ordination between them as well as to increase the movement of students and teachers between fields and levels of study.

4. The reform of study programmes is another key issue in any re-organisation of post-secondary education. Not only staff, students and academic experts but also representatives of the professions, the employers and employees might co-operate in such reform. Among measures taken that might be adopted more widely are:

the introduction of occupationally oriented programmes of shorter duration;

experiments with a foundation year and a developed guidance system;

the provision of continuing or recurrent post-secondary studies for adults and of mid-career sabbaticals;

alternating study and employment opportunities;

the use of a greater variety of assessment procedures;

the introduction of consecutive learning blocks and unit/credit systems, and more systematic application of the findings of curriculum research and development in the preparation of new programmes of study at the post-secondary level.

5. The broadening of access to post-secondary education poses the problem of where to locate research and the centres of excellence, which have not only to be maintained but also to be further developed: a more profound understanding is called for to master the consequences of knowledge

The universities should continue to be nuclei and post-graduate studies. Although all teaching at post-secondary level should be linked in varying degrees to research, it will not be possible for all post-secondary institutions to have a formal research function.

6. The new educational technology has proved its considerable potentialities within traditional and multi-media experimental settings. Its further development should be encouraged, and the International exchange or experience, in particular on the evaluation of ongoing experiments should be intensified.

Responsible participation by all categories of staff and of students in the decision-making bodies of post-secondary institutions has proved helpful both to the individual institutions and to the system as a whole, and should therefore be generally encouraged.

8. Educational reform and expansion are fundamental to European development and progress. To make it possible for the growth of postsecondary education to continue, even under financial constraints, it is necessary to examine how the efficiency of post-secondary education can be raised and how its financial burden can be shared more equitably.

EXPRESS the hope that this common outlook on main policy issues of post-secondary education may encourage the members of the Conference in developing national policies on convergent lines;


governments to continue to co-operate in the framework of the international organisations concerned in the exchange of detailed information on new trends and developments in postsecondary education,

OECD to complete and keep up to date its studies on new patterns of post-secondary education and to undertake studies on the improvement of the efficiency of post-secondary education,
the Council of Europe to study in particular the potentialities of systematic curriculum research and development in post-secondary education and to investigate the problems and implications of multimedia remote study systems.

Resolution on mobility of students and teachers in higher education and of research workers (N2)  

(adopted during the seventh Conference of  Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe, Brussels, Belgium, 8-10 June 1971)

The European Ministers of Education, at their Seventh Conference,

HAVING EXAMINED the report on "Mobility of students and teachers in higher education and of research workers" (CME/VII (71) 5) presented by tile Committee of Senior Officials and

HAVING TAKEN NOTE of -the various activities of international organisations in this field as described in Appendices III, IV, V and VI of the report,


- that geographic mobility of staff and students should be encouraged in that it helps to develop post-secondary education and research as well as the individual personality;

- that - if education and research are to be fully developed - it must be made possible to have available, at any moment and in a sufficient number, different specialists of the highest quality no matter from which country they have come;

- that mobility will facilitate the most efficient use of manpower and equipment in teaching and research and accelerate the process of educational innovation;

- that study visits or temporary sojourns abroad can enlarge the horizon and the knowledge and experience of the individual concerned and make an important contribution to his personal development;


- that the principle of mobility belongs to the essence of higher education;

- that mobility should be encouraged and facilitated especially for more advanced students and that in. particular post-graduate students need to be given the opportunity to complete their educational by continuing their studies or doing research at specialised centres where their chosen subject or speciality enjoys priority;

- that the systems of recruitment and promotion of staff for teaching and research should provide for greater mobility within Europe;

- that, in this context, direct contacts among universities, colleges, research centres, etc. in all matters of exchange and mobility are of the greatest value and need to be systematically encouraged;


(1) that all member States of the Council for Cultural Co-operation should endeavour to provide - if necessary by attributing supplementary functions to existing institutions - for national centre or for co-ordinated national services to collect and provide information on:

foreign systems of post-secondary education and their admission requirements;

the content of foreign qualifications;

existing equivalence arrangements;

possibilities for study, teaching, research and practical training offered abroad;

possibilities of obtaining grants and scholarships for study and research abroad;

these national centres or services would also provide guidance to all students and staff members wishing to go abroad and would advise them matters of reintegration after their return;

they would co-operate at international level, preferably by making use of the services existing within the framework of international organisations;

(2) that member States should allow, where it is not already the case, the use of foreign academic titles and degrees without previous authorisation by national authorities provided that

the foreign title or degree is used only in its original version (without translation) and

the name of the institution which conferred it is added;

it would be understood that this possibility of using the title would not prejudice effectus civilis and would therefore not confer any right to exercise a profession;

a particular effort would be made to establish a system of equivalences based' on the subject matter, the duration and the level of the studies, with a view to facilitating the use of titles and degrees obtained abroad;

(3) that in all member States, At should be permissible under tine law to appoint a foreign national to the post of lecturer, professor and/or chair holder and to a corresponding post at a public research centre;

(4) that member States examine how they Can increase the number of summer schools being of great importance for -the education and the academic progress of students, and in particular helping to promote undergraduate mobility without Interrupting the student's proper study course at home;

(5) that member States should not adopt or require the adoption of: admission policies which would totally exclude foreign students from any particular field of study;

INVITE the Council of Europe in co-operation with the appropriate international organisations, to examine
(l) which are the best ways and means help students to obtain recognition of foreign diplomas and periods of study passed abroad by making available sufficient and reliable information on the content of such diplomas and periods of study;
(2) to investigate the possibility of establishing a system of equivalences based on the subject the duration and the level of the studies;
(3) to examine to what extent mobility of teachers in higher education and of research workers could be facilitated by agreement on certain basic principles covering their legal position ("European status").

Resolution on function and working methods of the Conference (N3)  

(adopted during the seventh Conference of  Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe, Brussels, Belgium, 8-10 June 1971)

The European Ministers of Education, at their Seventh Conference,

HAVING EXAMINED the report on "Function, working methods and procedures of the Conference", presented by the Committee of Senior Officials

HAVING TAKEN NOTE of Recommendation No. 567/1969 on "Twenty' Years of European Cultural Co-operation" adopted by the Consultative Assembly and of the reply to this recommendation given by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, 


- that international action and co-operation in education concerning the geographical region covered by the membership of the Conference have considerably increased over the past decade and will assume an ever greater importance in the years to come as the common problems of a rapidly changing European society call for joint solutions;

- that such co-operation, which in the past was mainly directed towards the exchange of information, has recently tended to develop new forms of intensified co-operation involving varying groups of member States;

- that co-ordinated lines of action in priority fields would be stimulated by intensified two-way communication between the Conference and the international organisations concerned;

- that for these reasons a redefinition of the function of the Conference is necessary; 


1. while agreeing on the one hand that the autonomy of the Conference should be maintained and on the other hand that its structure and status should not be institutionalised, to emphasise its permanent character by designating it the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education;

2. to define the function of the Conference as follows:

(a) to assist its members in ascertaining the common elements of education policy, both nationally and internationally, by discussing main themes on the basis of reports presented by its members or by its Committee of Senior Officials or commissioned on its behalf;

(b) to assist the international organisations concerned by drawing attention to priority areas for international action and co-operation in education and by providing guidance for the furtherance and co-ordination of their educational activities concerning its geographical region; this should help each organisation to contribute effectively, in accordance with its own constitution and within the framework of its own working methods and programmes, towards the solution of educational problems of members of the Conference;

(c) to promote the study of common problems and major developments in education in Europe, with a view to its improvement and harmonisation and with a view to joint action, by means of co-operative projects wherever this may prove practicable;

(d) to keep in mind for the future the possibility of holding ad hoc conferences either of a limited character for the consideration of a particular subject in which some members might have a special interest or of a more general character comprising authorities from other sectors;

INSTRUCT the Committee of Senior Officials of the Conference

1. to follow attentively the developments of education in Europe;

2. to maintain close contacts with the international organisations concerned;

3. to prepare for future conferences and to present reports and discussion papers as may be necessary;

4. to prepare proposals for the main themes of forthcoming conferences and for priority areas to be covered in international action and cooperation in education;

5. to follow up the resolutions of the conferences in close co-operation with the international organisations concerned;

APPROVE the proposal that the Committee of Senior Officials should appoint from among its members a standing group and ad hoc working parties to assist it in, its tasks;

INVITE the governments of member countries and the international organisations concerned to assist the Committee of Senior Officials in preparing the proposals for priority areas, in carrying out the necessary analyses and in following up the resolutions of the conferences.

Resolution on the information document on the work of the international organisations, and main themes of forthcoming conferences and priority areas for European action and co-operation in education (N4)  

(adopted during the seventh Conference of  Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe, Brussels, Belgium, 8-10 June 1971)

The European Ministers of Education, at their Seventh Conference

ADOPT the following statement:

1. The Ministers thank UNESCO, OECD, the Council of Europe, and the European Communities for the comprehensive and informative background documents on the work which they carried out in the field of education since the Sixth Conference. The Ministers suggest that similar documents should be submitted to the Eighth Conference and special attention should be paid in them to

- the results obtained during the intervening period covered by these documents and to

- indicating their most significant current and future activities.

2. The Ministers also thank the Committee of Senior Officials for their report on the main themes of forthcoming conferences and priority areas for European action and co-operation in the field of education. The value of such a report has been clearly demonstrated during the Ministers' discussions, and the Ministers ask the Senior Officials to submit a similar document to the Eighth Conference. As far as possible, this document should be based on a careful- analysis of the educational situation in Europe It would thus help the Ministers to place in their appropriate context, the priority areas and main themes proposed by the Senior Officials. The Ministers suggest that the international organisations, in particular OECD, should help the Senior Officials to prepare this report and the accompanying background analysis.

It is felt that among the priority areas listed in the report by the Committee of Senior Officials which merit particular attention are:

- the education of immigrants;

- the development of the teaching of modern languages; and

- the development of educational research.

An additional area, which is suggested, is

- the in-service training of teachers.

3. The Ministers decide that the main theme of the Eighth Conference would be the needs of the 16-19 age group, both in full-time and in part-time education. They invite the Committee of Senior Officials to define the various aspects of this complex problem, to be treated by the Conference.

4. The Ministers consider that particular attention should be given to the problems relating to the education and training of immigrants, both adults and adolescents, and to the schooling of immigrants' children. As this is a matter which falls within the competence of other Ministries or departments besides those of education, the Ministers agree to convene at Strasbourg in 1972, an ad hoc conference on this subject to which other Ministries or departments concerned might also be invited. They ask the Committee of Senior Officials to study the practical arrangements in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Council of Europe which provides secretarial services for the regular conferences of the European 'Ministers of Education.

5. The Ministers express their gratitude to the Belgian authorities for their hospitality during the present Conference.

6. They accept with pleasure the invitation of the Swiss authorities to hold the Eighth Conference of the European Ministers of Education in Switzerland in May 1973.