Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education
 
4th Session - London, United Kingdom, 14-16 April 1964

Resolution on national and international action in the fields covered by the resolutions of the Conferences of European Ministers of Education (N1)
Resolution on planning and investment in education (N 2)
Resolution on educational research (N3)
Resolution on problems of student admission to universities (N4)

Resolution on national and international action in the fields covered by the resolutions of the Conferences of European Ministers of Education (N1)  

The European Ministers of Education at their fourth Conference,

NOTING the report prepared by the Secretariat on national and international action in the fields covered by the resolutions of the previous Conferences (Min.Ed/London (64) 1)

EXPRESS their gratitude to member governments for the information they have supplied on national action,

WELCOME the work undertaken and the information supplied in these fields by the international organisations represented at the Conference,

WELCOME in particular the decision of the Council for Cultural Cooperation of the Council of Europe to take into account the resolutions adopted at the third Conference of European Ministers of Education when formulating its programme,

RECORD with satisfaction progress made by the Council of Europe in the following activities:

i. the publication of the Thomas-Majault Report on "Primary and Secondary Education - Modern Trends and Common Problems";
ii. the preparation of a further comparative study entitled "Schools in Europe";
iii. work on educational terminology, and notably the forthcoming publication of a guide to school systems in Europe with tables of educational structures, glossaries and statistical information, as a first step towards a dictionary of European educational terms;
iv. the creation of a nucleus of an educational documentation centre and the intention to expand this service;
v. studies in the field of the expansion and improvement of modern language teaching,

STRESS the particular importance of further study in two fields mentioned in the report of the Secretariat, namely continued education and the use of audio-visual aids, and HOPE that progress may be reported on those subjects at the fifth Conference;

REAFFIRMING the principles contained in Resolution 7 adopted by the Conference which met in Rome in October 1962;

STRESS that it would be of great value to them if regular and periodical reports on national and international action were to be prepared particularly with a view to:

a. establishing comparative information on educational problems, with special reference to overall expenditure and financial procedures;
b. stimulating the implementation of the resolutions of the Conferences;

NOTING that, if these periodical reports are to be of maximum use, their purpose, contents and manner of presentation should be more closely defined,

INSTRUCT the Committee of Senior Officials to study this question in the light of the discussions at the fourth Conference, and to give guidance to the Secretariat in the preparation of future reports, bearing in mind the need for cooperation with the international organisations concerned.

Resolution on planning and investment in education (N 2)  

The European Ministers of Education at their fourth Conference,

HAVING HELD a general exchange of views on planning and investment in education, and aware of the importance which they each attach, in their desire for increasing cultural co-operation, to the work done by the others in this field;

NOTING that in all the countries represented, whatever the structural and institutional differences that distinguish them, the national will to make education more readily accessible to all citizens necessities and with true recognition of the close links between education and economic development;

NOTING that the necessary investment and reforms will only take effect slowly and that, in order to prepare the younger generation for the economic and social conditions it will encounter at the end of the century, it is necessary to embark forthwith on a forward-looking course of action based on as accurate an appreciation as possible of objectives and methods;

NOTING that in recent years all the countries of Europe have appreciably increased the proportion of their gross national product assigned to education, but that a further increase is inevitable in view of their ever-growing need for schools, universities and other instruments of education, although such an increase demands simultaneously:

a. an intensive drive, which will sometimes require priority, to recruit and train teaching staff,
b. changes in administrative structures with the object, bearing the diversity of national institutions in mind, of increasing the effectiveness and quality of educational systems and adapting them to the rapid changes in European society,
c. the integration of educational planning in national economic and social planning by associating with the latter both the authorities responsible for education and representatives of the teachers themselves;

RECOMMEND

1. that departments of statistics and socio-economic studies be set up in all participating countries and placed at the disposal of the responsible authorities, in order to collect the quantitative and qualitative data required by the authorities for the purpose of expanding and directing educational activities, and to integrate them in any economic development plan that may exist;

2. that OECD, whose. work in this field is greatly appreciated, be invited to formulate clearly in a model handbook the various factors involved in effective educational investment planning, so that the countries represented may have a basis for the compilation of. comparable, statistics;

3. that steps be taken, with the help of international organisations, in particular the International Institute for Educational Planning of UNESCO and the Council for Cultural Co-operation and its Permanent Committees, to ensure that each of the countries represented can get to know and understand the real trends of investment and methods of financing education in the other countries of Europe, thus. meeting an increasingly felt need;

4. that the Committee of Senior Officials, with the assistance of the Secretariat of, the Council of Europe, keep itself constantly informed of progress, made in these fields in the countries represented.

Resolution on educational research (N3)  

The European Ministers of Education at their fourth Conference,

HAVING EXAMINED the memorandum on educational research submitted by the Ministers of Education of England and Wales (Min. Ed/London (64) 3);

CONSCIOUS

- of the comparatively small amount of effort hitherto devoted to educational research in relation to the cost of education as a whole, and of the wide range of research in this field,
- of the advantages there might be in pooling the knowledge and experience acquired in this field by national ministries and national organisations;

CALLING ATTENTION to the need to keep teachers informed of, and to associate them with, research activities;

RECOMMEND to the Council of Europe that it set up a service which would be responsible for collating and distributing information on the educational research carried out in various countries signatory or ahering to the European Cultural Convention,

SUGGEST that this service might be complementary to the service of educational documentation already being undertaken by the Council of Europe.

SUGGEST in this connection that it would be appropriate to exclude from the term educational research; not only topics already covered by educational documentation but also comparative studies being carried out by the educational committees of the Council for Cultural Co-operation,

INVITE member countries, as a first step, pending the establishment of this service, to provide information to the Secretariat in the form of a paper to be circulated to other member countries showing broadly:

- the administrative pattern of educational research,
- the scale of research efforts,
- the main institutions (both governmental and non governmental) concerned,
- the area of education in which the main research in that country is currently being carried out or planned,

FURTHER REMIND member countries of the need to provide information on research projects. already in their initial stages,

REQUEST the Council of Europe, as a second step, to consider the most appropriate machinery for exchanging detailed information on the progress and results of particular aspects of research in which other countries are interested,

DRAW ATTENTION to the fact that such machinery can only be effective if each country has. a central agency for collecting information on a national scale;

CONSIDERING furthermore, that, in view of the many problems common to the member countries, it would be useful to investigate whether there are areas where co-operative research on a European plane would be possible and generally valuable;

RECOMMEND that the Council of Europe consider the possibility of convening a small meeting of experts to identify suitable areas for such co-operative research, bearing in mind that some research projects might, with advantage, be jointly undertaken by a small group of countries.

Resolution on problems of student admission to universities (N4)  

The European Ministers of Education at their fourth Conference,

HAVING DISCUSSED various aspects of the problems of student admission to universities - conditions of eligibility and financial questions;

TAKE NOTE of the increase, for social as well as educational reasons, in the number of students emerging from secondary education with qualifications for higher education;

STRESS the importance of maintaining the standards both of academic achievement required for university entry and of the universities themselves during the process of expansion;

HOPE that for university entrance more attention will be paid to the general level of education than to pre-university specialisation;

TAKE NOTE that, although universities (with their particular tasks and perspectives) are the most important constituent part of higher education, there is, at the same time, need for further development of other forms of higher education;

CONSIDER that all young persons qualified by ability and attainment to enter higher education should have the opportunity to do so;

URGE that, in so far as admission restrictions exist as a result of an insufficient capacity of institutions of higher education, these restrictions should be reduced and gradually abolished by expanding the systems of higher education;

BELIEVE that it should be the obligation of the State that at least all students of ability who cannot finance a course of study themselves or from their parents' funds should be provided with the means for studying from public funds;

RECOGNISING the need to encourage exchanges of undergraduate and particularly post-graduate students between European countries HOPE that, over and above the provision already made in this respect by international organisations, steps will be taken to ensure that national programmes of financial support for students become equally applicable to periods of study in other European countries;

ARE OF THE OPINION that increased opportunities and financial support for students should have their corollary in adequate methods of selection, a suitable wide range of courses, possibly a greater variety of diplomas at differing levels, and a degree of academic supervision consistent with the maintenance of the traditional freedom and integrity of the universities themselves;

STRESS the desirability of fostering opportunities for those who did not follow the regular path of entry to higher education from the secondary schools to be admitted to higher education, both at home and abroad;

WELCOME the work of the-Council for Cultural Co-operation of the Council of Europe in the field of higher education, and EXPRESS THE WISH that the Council of Europe should devote particular attention in its programme to the problems mentioned in the present resolution.