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French and Irish higher education institutions work together to build and transform the European education area

Published on May 6, 2022 Updated on June 28, 2022

on the May 6, 2022

Based on the Sorbonne speech given by President Macron in September 2017, the European University initiative was integrated into the Erasmus+ programme and now also into the Horizon 2020 program. This encourages and supports higher education institutions from all across Europe to build consortia leading to the creation of the European education area.

As part of the French presidency of the EU, the Embassy of France in Ireland organised a workshop on Friday, May 6, gathering all those higher education institutions from Ireland and France linked together through this initiative.

Professor Timothée Toury, Secrétaire Général of EUt+ and Irish leads in EUt+, including TU Dublin's President, Professor David FitzPatrick, attended the workshop hosted by the Universities Association (IUA) hosted jointly by the French Embassy in Dublin and the IUA. Six Irish universities were represented in the workshop together with their European University alliance partners from France. Partners planning to establish in the third round of applications very shortly were included in the representation.

The workshop's focus was to support French and Irish higher education institutions in working together to build and transform the European education area. A wide range of issues was interrogated, and partners recognised the huge benefits of knowledge and experience sharing, in particular, for the Irish university alliances, which are now beginning a higher-level discussion with each other and with the Department of Further and Higher Education about the importance and the impact of European University alliances.

Many are well through their pilot stages and are calling on both the European Commission and their national governments for more committed and sustainable models of funding. On another level, practices and experiences were shared on common aspects such as micro-credentials and joint degree curricula. Here there was recognition of the real synergies that can exist by working together on challenging pan-European development and applying such ambitions. The workshop finished by drafting a White Paper presented to the relevant ministries in both France and Ireland and the European Commission.

This white paper will give a French-Irish perspective following the publication of the European commission's EU strategy for universities, proposing ways for deeper and sustainable transnational cooperation in higher education.

Date: 6th May 2022
Date of update 28 juin 2022