• 18 June 2024
  • Education, Featured, Further Education and Training, News

City of Dublin ETB Supports Ireland-France Academic Links  

The beginning of June saw City of Dublin ETB sign the first Memorandum of Understanding to support vocational training and cross-country collaboration at the launch of the inaugural France-Ireland Symposium. 

More than 80 participants from 15 French academic regions and 15 Irish Education and Training boards came together over four days to reinforce the links between France and Ireland in the field of Further Education and Training and increase the mobility of Irish and French students and staff from Colleges of Further Education or Training Centres. 

The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Occitanie Academic Region and City of Dublin Education and Training Board, on June 4th at the French Residence, marks the first step towards stronger and deeper cooperation. 

Ireland and France Have Strong Connections 

Speaking at the signing, H.E M. Vincent Guérend, French Ambassador to Ireland, declared: “The links that unite France and Ireland are particularly strong in the field of education. For example, France is the number one partner of Ireland within the Erasmus+ program. 

 However, this source of opportunities and funding is still very new to the students and staff from the Vocational Education Sector. With this signature, City of Dublin ETB and Occitanie academic region are leading the way in strengthening cooperation in the field of vocational education training, further accelerating exchanges and strengthening ties between our two countries.” 

William Beausang, Assistant Secretary General with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Skills said of the event, "Ireland and France agreed a Joint Plan of Action (2021-2025) to strengthen and deepen relations between the two countries across a range of cultural, educational, and political activities including strengthening education and research links. We welcome the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the rectorate of the Occitanie region of France and City of Dublin Education and Training Board, which extends our excellent partnership and supports the achievement of the aims of the Joint Plan of Action." 

Symposium An Opportunity To Reflect On Cooperation Opportunities  

Through this 4-day event, the aim of this Symposium on Vocational Education Training was to offer participants a better understanding of each other’s vocational training systems and to provide an opportunity to reflect on cooperation opportunities through workshops, presentations, networking sessions and field visits all over Ireland. 

 It is composed of senior members of the Irish Ministry of Further and Higher Education, the French Ministry of Education, ETB Chief Executives, Directors of Further Education and Training and staff, French directors and international relations advisers from the various academic regions. 

Knowledge and Expertise Sharing  

Paddy Lavelle, General Secretary of Education and Training Boards Ireland said, “We are privileged to have several key voices who will share their expertise, and personal learning experiences today facilitating the sharing of knowledge and expertise within the sector and promoting engagement on strengthening bilateral cooperation in the field of vocational education and training”. 

The Franco-Irish dynamic supporting vocational training will provide an opportunity for cross-country engagement showcasing innovation and collaboration. The aim will be to bring together French education authorities and Irish Education and Training Boards to initiate partnerships and explore areas of cooperation as part of European and international expansion. 

In order to develop student and staff mobility within this sector and ensure that participants all have different points of contact from which to develop exchanges, ETBI and the French Embassy have identified matchings between academic regions and ETBs, based on their priority vocational domains or pre-existing links. Based on these partnerships, the French academic regions will visit different parts of Ireland with their counterparts on the 6th and 7th June. 

In 2022, the signing of the Declaration of Intent between the French Minister for Education and the Irish Minister for Vocational Training on strengthening bilateral cooperation in the field of vocational education and training gave impetus to cooperation at the level of French education authorities and Irish Education Training Boards (ETBs).