News archive - Event Review: Fostering and Building Human Capital for Sustainable Knowledge Societies in South Eastern Europe

The new Task Force of the RCC on Fostering and Building Human Capital was put in charge to promote coherency and coordination between education, higher education and research by creating a platform of dialogue and cooperation of actors involved in these sector. The first international conference organised by the TF FBHC was held March 6/7, 2009 in Bucharest. It convened decision-makers from european institutions and international organisations, Ministries of Education, Science and Research, Labour and Social Affairs from SEE countries, Non-governmental organisations active in the field of human capital building,  education experts, researchers,
RCC and international donors.

The conference rapporteur Ms. Tinde Kovac Cerovic, State Secretary at the Serbian Ministry of Education summarised the following aspects in her presentation:

The conference aimed to respond to the changing landscape by creating a forum for debate on the role of human capital for the development of sustainable knowledge economies and societies in the region as well as for the region’s inclusion into an Enlarged Europe with the following specific objectives:

  • Assist in moving policy making from fragmentation of education, vocational education and training, higher education and research to an integrated and systemic one considering the comprehensive dimension of the human capital;
  • Discuss ways to deal with the need for and the growing impact of the “knowledge triangle” on economic and social development in South Eastern Europe;
  • Provide information about relevant international and European developments with regard to human capital contribution to sustainable economic and social development;
  • Raise awareness to support articulated and coherent actions and practices at all levels, in particular amongst policymakers;
  • Facilitate co-operation among key actors in the area of human capital in the region.

The conference moved from

  • General policy lines to discussing practical implementation
  • International to local experiences
  • Describing the work of already established cooperation networks to discussing future topical networking needs and possibilities
  • Separate important areas to joint understanding
  • Providers’ perspective to stakeholders’ views

It mobilized a wide array of perspectives brought in through the diversity of participants who also moved through five areas crucial for human capital development:

  • Human capital contribution to the development of learning regions where innovation-friendly environments are created and knowledge is converted into innovative products and services
  • Using research evidence and trends as prerequisites for creating effective policies for building human capital;
  • Human capital contribution to sustainable development
  • Fostering human capital for labour market needs and competitiveness
  • TVET and HE modernization as a response to challenges for building human capital in a changing society

The first part of the conference demonstrated the cooperation potential and synergetic possibilities of established networks and institutional structures through the contributions from the, TF BHC, ERI-SEE, EC DG research, SEE-ERA.NET, WBC-INCO.NET, ETF, CoE, OECD, UNDP/RCC, and the Croatian Employment Association
All contribution highlighted and reflected the movement from discussing typical sectoral topics to seeing education and research as powerful instruments for building human capital.

A rich overview on what has been and is being done on:

  • Developing cooperation in SEE from 1999 onwards
  • Creating possibilities for future oriented knowledge management
  • Supporting LLL, supporting the development of competencies, qualification frameworks
  • Improving research capacities and increasing scientific knowledge
  • Overcoming the digital divide
  • Education – labor market partnerships, active employment measures, adult learning
  • Bridging policy-practice gaps, developing new teaching practices, sharing experiences from the region
  • System reviews, student assessments and networking to support economic growth

In the concluding words summarising the results of the conference, the rapporteur also gave the following recommendations:

  • Developing human capital calls for future thinking - obligation to mobilize and empower all instruments for this, stress policy over politics
  • Situating and mobilising research in the new context as relevant partner for development
  • Exchanging experience, ensuring peer learning and developing joint best practice

Source: Summary presentation by the conference rapporteur.

All presentations will be available from the conference website at:

Entry created by Elke Dall on March 8, 2009
Modified on March 9, 2009