Brussels, 29 June 2012 - There is broad agreement among business leaders, education professionals, governments and the EU institutions that more must be done to raise awareness and improve knowledge about standards and standardization. This is the main conclusion of a conference on education about standardization that was held in Brussels today (29 June), jointly organised by the European Standards Organisations – CEN, CENELEC and ETSI.
The First European Dialogue on Education about Standardization attracted the participation of more than 90 delegates including representatives of business and industry, the higher education sector, governments and the European Commission, as well as national and European standards organisations. There was a general consensus among the participants that Europe needs to catch up with other parts of the world – notably including many Asian countries – where there are more opportunities for students and professionals to learn about standardization during their formal education and/or professional training.
In particular, there is a need for materials that can be used in the context of further and higher education and professional training to explain the benefits of standardization for companies, industries and society as a whole. Fortunately, valuable work is already being done, and participants learned about positive examples of education and training activities that have been developed and implemented in various countries (in Europe and elsewhere).
CEN (European Committee for Standardization), CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) and ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) are currently preparing a joint strategy on education about standardization. This will aim to build on existing practices, raise awareness of relevant issues, and provide a basis for developing new initiatives with relevant stakeholders in the coming years.
Elena SANTIAGO CID, Director General of CEN and CENELEC, explains the importance for Europe’s economy of including standardization in educational curricula: “In the context of the current economic crisis, Europe needs more than ever to remain competitive and innovative. Standardization contributes to competitiveness and innovation, and therefore it is crucial that we enable the current and future workforce to learn about standards. More needs to be done throughout Europe and this issue must be understood and addressed at all levels."
PHOTO: Participants attending the First European Dialogue on Education about Standardization, which was held at the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre in Brussels on 29 June 2012. © CEN-CENELEC 2012
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