On May 30, 2017 the European Commission published two key Communications on education, and in particular STEM education. The Communication on a Renewed EU Agenda for Higher Education stated that “the European Commission will launch an Upscaled EU STE(A)M Coalition”, and directly referred to the EU STEM Coalition as one of the foundations to build on. The Communication on School Development and Excellent Teaching for an Excellent Start in Life also contained several passages on the importance of STEM education. In follow up of the former, the EU STEM Coalition was also invited to provide a presentation on the Directors-General for Higher Education Meeting (DGHE) of the Estonian Presidency. Finally, the EU STEM Coalition was asked by the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT), an EU body established to boost the EU’s innovation capacity and JA Europe, a network for entrepreneurship education, to develop a joint-proposal for the implementation of this action point (‘EU Skills for the Future’).
In response to these developments, a special taskforce meeting was organised in the context of the ongoing Erasmus+ KA2 project. The taskforce meeting took place in Brussels at the Flemish ministry of education (EU STEM Coalition partner) and was attended by the directors of the STEM platforms of Denmark (ASTRA), Netherlands (PBT), United Kingdom (STEM Learning) and Flanders (Flemish ministry of education). The European Commission was present during part of the meeting. The objectives of the meeting were:
Several conclusions were formulated in regard to each point, including the EU STEM Coalition’s participation in the EU Skills for the Future Initiative as a useful way of reaching countries where the Coalition does not yet have partners, the restructuring of the membership model to accommodate the greater diversity between partners as a result of the rapid growth of the network, the decision to put more emphasis on the developments and results of the national platforms during the General Meetings. The conclusions will be discussed in detail with the rest of the network during the next General Meeting.