The pandemic of COVID-19 shed light on alarming challenges in education that had not adequately been addressed so far and highlighted inequalities that must be tackled in order to guarantee the fundamental right to quality lifelong learning and education.
As a result, UNESCO is currently leading a global debate to reimagine the focus of learning and knowledge in the future and how it can shape humanity in a world of increasing uncertainty. This year they are focusing on sparking conversations and getting input from individuals, networks, and organisations, encouraging them to think critically about the challenges and opportunities that the possible futures of education hold.
The Erasmus+ programme has led to the emergence of the ‘Erasmus Generation’, a term used to describe young people who have enjoyed the practical benefits of being internationally-minded and integrated. The highly mobile community, which values tolerance and democratic citizenship, is eager to shape education policies and to make sure that in times of change their voice is heard in order to protect all forms of learning and to ensure that it’s being explored and developed.
Therefore it comes as no surprise that Erasmus Student Network with its 533 local associations in 42 countries is involved in the consultation of the “Futures of Education” project and will strive to make sure that the voice of the Erasmus Generation is being represented through debates, exchange of ideas, and a 1-minute questionnaire that allows the audience to set their priorities for the future of education. ESN is eager to support UNESCO's initiative to make sure that the voice of international students will be heard by providing an opportunity for a community of young people who value international solidarity to advocate for the change they want to see in order to protect and transform education and learning.
No one can foresee how education will be reshaped after the pandemic, but we can take ownership in exploring, embracing and critically developing its upcoming priorities.