State of Education Think Tank

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    State of Education Think Tank

    People of the European Union,

    Welcome to (my first) Internal Commission Think Tank!

    Open for all Councillors, this think tank focuses on the education programmes within the European Union. My objective for this think tank is to understand the various education systems throughout the European Union, and hopefully work together with Councillors on how to improve access to education throughout the EU.

    This think tank is divided into two sections, the first section will address the state of primary and secondary education (basic education), while the second address post-secondary education. Article 26 section 1 of the EU constitution cites education as a basic human right, and calls for elementary education to be compulsory and free. Unfortunately, the constitution does not mention anything regarding education beyond that level aside from it being made available, and accessible on the basis of merit.

    As a commissioner I ask what the availability of education means within the nations of the European Union and how "merit" is defined. The ambiguity of "merit" makes it difficult to truly allow for universal education to be implemented throughout the European union, and nowhere is this more apparent than in post-secondary education. Students often cite expenses as a barrier to access to post-secondary education, is this in fact a violation of the constitution, or is this simply a result of "merit" not being defined clearly.

    I'd like to conclude by asking a few questions. Is it a realistic goal for the European Council to pursue strategies to make post-secondary education more accessible by making it more affordable? How can we work together to ensure that education is truly accessible to every EU citizen.

    The floor is open, Councillors!

    Eloise Murray
    Commissioner for Internal Affairs

  • I don't think that education reform needs to be something led by a Commission or by the European Union, but we can promote studying between our nations at the secondary and post-secondary levels. Having a place where we can commit to dialogue in education seems to be key, as you will probably run into national sovereignty issues from more conservative partners. The same is true for national standards of education.

    However, a symposium of ministries or departments of education may be the best solution to some of your questions. There, we can discuss cost saving measures that are beneficial to all European nations.

    Stanislas Kamerewski
    Councillor for Poland-Lithuania

  • My Government agrees with the Councillor for Poland-Lithuania. Whilst the promotion of education is important especially the benefits of international cooperation and exchanges to enrich a persons education.

    Education reform is not something which is currently needed within the EU and there are other issues which my government feels that the Commissioner should be concentrating on. Most importantly the abolition of the death penalty within the EU.

    Rt Hon Nicola Heaven MP
    Councillor for Davishire
    Minister of State for the European Union

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    I think this think tank is essentially the same thing as Councillor Kamerewski's symposium of ministers. I will be meeting my nation's this week to report back detailed answers and urge all my fellow Councillors to. This is an incredibly worthwhile study and I congratulate the Commissioner for such initiative.

  • My proposal is actually independent from the Union, as I am a realist and do not feel the council will produce the result that will result in true change.

  • We would be happy to share our good education system with the rest of the EU!

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    I've researched the Duxburian education system and received feedback to report on.

    The Duxburian public education system was founded in -1,535 by Kaleigh Lamington. Kaleigh recognized that her fledgling and besieged city-state would need to outsmart its enemies if it were to have any hope of survival. Thus, she created the Dairghazbury school system to impart the entire population with as much knowledge as could be had. Her schools churned out soldiers, tacticians, engineers, inventors, farmers, blacksmiths, and anything else vital to survival.

    By the end of her reign as Aelir, immigrants from around the known world were pouring into Dairghazbury. There were rumors of a black city on a hill where anyone, regardless of birth or status, could receive a clean slate and even start a new trade and be provided with the knowledge to succeed in it. The thirst for knowledge exhibited by the city's young adults and adult, immigrant population prompted the opening of Dairghazbury University in -1,506, Blackstone University in -1,499, and Lamington University in -1,497. Due to this very early headstart, the Capital Region has the largest concentration of universities in the country.

    Students in the modern Duxburian Union typically enter the education system at age 5 and graduate from college/university at age 20, full adulthood. The system is divided into quarters (elementary school grades 1-4, middle school grades 5-8, high school grades 9-12, college/university grades 13-16). Masters candidates typically spend an additional 2-4 years in school, while doctoral candidates spend a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8.

    Small schools are run by a Board of Education (executive) and a School Meeting (legislative). Larger schools are run by a Board of Education (executive) and a School Council (Legislative). Any student age 15 or higher may vote at sessions of the School Meeting or run for the School Council. School Judicial Boards investigate and punish violations of the rules. At high schools, colleges, and universities, they consist entirely or almost entirely of students. The prestigious University of Hasilthec is entirely run by students and alumni and allowed to rise or fall as far as federal law will permit.

    The federal government spends 22.5% of its budget on education. The public education system is funded mostly by federal property taxes. These funds are distributed evenly among all school districts. Larger schools will generally receive more money, but the percentage relative to school population does not differ. All elementary, middle and high schools must be "free", but colleges and universities may charge tuition. There isn't such a thing as "free" education anywhere in the world, though?someone is always paying for it somewhere, somehow. If you don't pay tuition, you are paying via taxes. At some private schools, tuition is lower than the taxation that would make it "free" at a public school, so smart students can take advantage of this and shop around.

    Private schools must follow at least the minimum standards and curriculum of the public schools, but may elect to use any form of governance and may charge tuition at any level. Religious schools are treated as private schools, with additional restrictions. Homeschooling is legal, but instructors must achieve certification and students must pass equivalency exams.

    Admittance to colleges and universities is solely on merit. The federal government does not recognize races, ethnicities, genders, or sexual preferences. Sex cannot be considered for or against an applicant. Kendrelaatzenian language proficiency is required. EEC nationals may apply even without Duxburian residency, other foreign nationals must obtain permanent residency. Special privileges may apply to nationals of countries the Duxburian Union has negotiated relations with. Other than those, individual schools generally set their own admittance standards. High school transcripts, portfolios, entrance exams, and personal presentations are typically awarded the most weight. During the college application process, prospective students have the right to give a 20 minute presentation about anything. The Duxburian Union does not assign weighted GPAs or letter grades, all grades are numeric only.

    With an acceptance rate of just 4.6%, Blackstone University in Dairghazbury was the most selective school in 822. With a net tuition of K:46,820, Larami University in Aurimere was the most expensive school in 822.

    Many schools offer scholarships to talented applicants. Vocational schools often offer trade scholarships, subject to degree completion. Specific firms may offer their own private scholarships to top talent.

    Duxburian firms accept most foreign degrees if completed in the time windows required nationally. Foreign degrees in social sciences are usually unrecognized, due to Duxburian society not being stratified by identity statuses. This is naturally the most defensive section of the educational community and the one most resistant to outside interference.

    The Duxburian Union faces many challenges in internationalizing its system or syncing with other countries' education systems. Students are used to a large amount of democratic power and say in how their schools are managed. Individual schools set their own admittance standards, regardless of public or private status. Institutions of inequality are banned from being taught in the national curriculum. It is crucial that students be fluent in the language.

    Affordability is not typically the main problem in the Duxburian system - competition is. There is a rapidly growing pool of talented students from around the world applying for the same limited number of colleges and universities. True to Duxburian meritocracy, there are no quotas - the best students will win, regardless of nationality. It's a cutthroat system, but not one that many are looking to change, as it produces world-class professionals. Nothing is just given to Duxburian students, they must fight for their future, learning valuable skills along the way that they will need in order to survive Duxburian society later.

    Acwellan Devoy
    Speaker of the European Council
    Councillor of the Duxburian Union

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