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European Universities Meet to Discuss Internationalisation of the Curriculum

Posted on 15 November 2017

Internationalisation of the Curriculum was the topic for a high level seminar of leading European Universities at Trinity on the 13th and 14th of November.

The event brought together Rectors and Vice-Rectors of the 39 Coimbra Group universities as well as representatives of key stakeholders in higher education policy and in industry.

The seminar discussed how internationalisation strategies and policies at our universities are and can be reflected in the curriculum, campus life and wider activities of the universities. Speakers from academia and industry included Professor Betty Leask, La Trobe University; Elspeth Jones, Emerita Professor of the Internationalisation of Higher Education; Professor Helen Spencer-Oatey, University of Warwick; Fionnuala Meehan, Head of Google Ireland; and Patricia Reilly, Deputy Head of Cabinet, European Commission for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

The seminar also celebrated the 30 year anniversary of the Erasmus programme and marked the occasion with a speech by the Minister for European Affairs, Helen McEntee.

Commenting on the significance of the programme,Trinitys Professor Juergen Barkhoff and organiser of the seminar said:
The Erasmus programme is widely acknowledged as the most successful programme of the EU for forging a European identity. In difficult times for Europe, when neo-nationalism and isolationism are growing, there is a real danger that the vision of a peaceful Europe driven by the idea of unity in diversity gets lost and is drowned out: the Erasmus programme is one of the best ways to fight euroscepticism and reignite, on the basis of individual lived experience, enthusiasm and passion for Europe.

The Coimbra Group was formed in 1985 as the first European university network in the run up to the launch of the Erasmus programme two years later. It was one of its main objectives to bring top universities from across Europe together as mobility partners.

Coimbra Group member universities are involved in around 15% of all Erasmus mobility movements. Today research cooperation and influencing European higher education policies have become equally important strategic priorities for the network.

In Trinity like all over Europe the Erasmus programme had a transformative effect on student and staff mobility not only in terms of numbers, but also in terms of the depth and quality of the experience. It is estimated that close to 5 million students have benefited from the programme over the last thirty years.

Photo caption: Provost with rectos & vice-rectors of the Coimbra group universities