The Marie Curie Prize winners for outstanding achievement in research were announced by the Commission

The winners of the first Marie Curie Prize were announced by the European Commission at a ceremony held in Nicosia, Cyprus. The three winners are Dr Gkikas Magiorkinis from Greece, in the 'Promising Research Talent' category, Dr Claire Belcher from the United Kingdom, for 'Communicating Science', and Dr Sarit Sivan from Israel, for 'Innovation and Entrepreneurship'.

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Over €150 billion is the estimated economic cost of Europe’s youth not in employment, education or training

Eurofound published a report that reveals how the greatest urgency lies with the 14 million young people currently not in employment, education or training (NEETs). The report shows that the economic loss to society of not integrating NEETs is estimated at €153 billion, in addition to the inestimable costs for their disengagement from society in general.

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EU and UNESCO signed a partnership to boost cooperation and dialogue on education, culture, science and human rights

The European Union and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reached a new deal that will boost cooperation, dialogue and help to share information and best practice. The new partnership sets out clear, strategic priorities and encourages increased policy dialogue on areas of mutual interest between the two organisations, such as education, culture, science and technology, maritime policy and freedom of expression.

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Key objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy are still far to be reached

Eurostat published a short publication presenting past trends and latest data for each of the headline indicators of the strategy at EU and Member State level. These indicators show progresses but also that there is still work to do to achieving the strategy's goals. The Europe 2020 strategy aims at establishing a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy with high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion.

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Two opinions adopted by EESC asks for specific rules to protect children against harmful advertising and in Internet

The European Economic and Social Committee adopted at its September plenary session two opinions which called for specific regulations to be put in place in a bid to protect children against harmful advertising and damaging online content. The EESC highlights that it is being favoured e-commerce over child protection.

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A report highlights that children in Europe start learning foreign languages at an increasingly early age

The European Commission published a report that shows how a majority of countries or regions have lowered the starting age for compulsory language learning in the past 15 years and some even offer it in pre-school. In addition to this, the report confirms that English is the most taught foreign language in nearly all European countries, with French, Spanish, German and Russian following far behind.

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A High level group will study the Modernisation of Higher Education in the EU

The European Commission announced the establishment of a new High level group on the Modernisation of Higher Education, that will be chaired by Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland, and will focus this year on how best to achieve excellence in teaching and then, next year, it will discuss how to adapt learning in the digital age.

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Geographic inequalities in education persist despite commitments by Member States

A report published by the European Commission shows the North-South divide in educational attainment in the EU, with the highest rates of low-qualified people, with lower secondary education or less, chiefly found in southern European regions and especially in Portugal and Spain. The report also calls on EU countries to work harder to reduce these inequalities.

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A third more women than men are enrolling in higher education in the EU

The European Commission welcomed the launch of the OECD report, Education at a Glance 2012, which highlights that more than 40% of secondary school teachers in five EU countries (Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, the Netherlands, Sweden) are aged 50 or older. Gender inequality is also a problem because the report shows that nearly a third more women than men are enrolling in higher education in the EU.

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€800 million in EU funding will fund 536 early-career top researchers

The European Commission announced the 536 early-career top researchers for funding totalling almost €800 million in order to develop their ideas at the frontiers of knowledge. Also the grants will allow them to build their own research teams with more than 3,000 postdocs and PhD students, thereby supporting a new generation of top scientists in Europe.

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Report highlights major differences among EU countries with regard to student support

According to report published by the European Commission, the cost of higher education for students varies dramatically in Europe. Tuition fees are highest in England, while nine countries (Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Malta, Norway, UK (Scotland) and Sweden) do not charge fees in most cases. Also, the report highlights that major differences exist with regard to student support.

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