UL Campus Aerial view
Friday, May 6, 2022

Ministers Thomas Byrne and Niall Collins are to attend a national symposium at University of Limerick next week.

UL is to play host to a National Symposium on ‘The European Dimension in Irish Education after Brexit’ next Tuesday and Wednesday, May 10-11.

Among the more than fifty speakers from Ireland, Germany and France are Minister of State for European Affairs Thomas Byrne and Minister of State at the Department for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Niall Collins.

UL President Professor Kerstin Mey will also address the symposium.

Professor Joachim Fischer, Jean Monnet Chair in European Cultural Studies, School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics at UL, who is organising the event said it “aims to encourage interaction between the educational sectors”.

“Brexit has created a new situation for Ireland politically and economically which, since 2016, has led to an intensification of direct links with other EU member states and a more comprehensive engagement with the European Union,” he explained.

“This process has been further accelerated by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. The changed environment will by necessity also impact on Irish education which aims to prepare the next generation for the future.

“In order to generate a necessary assessment of and a comprehensive debate about the place of Europe within Irish education the Centre for European Studies at the University of Limerick is organizing a Symposium addressing the issue of the European dimension in all levels of Irish education, from primary schools right up to older citizens beyond the system of formal education, in line with the principle of life-long learning. The main focus will be on second and third level,” he added.

Each panel discussion will be followed by open discussions that invite audience participation.

Professor Fischer said the programme would be of interest to “students, teachers, education scholars, policy makers and politicians; speakers will include representatives from all key organizations involved in teaching European Studies and European languages”.

“The Symposium will also offer a forum where innovative projects from Ireland and other EU member states will be presented in order to chart the future for European Studies in Irish education,” he explained.

The event is organised in co-operation with the Office of the Minister for European Affairs Office, Department of Foreign Affairs; Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science; European Parliament Liaison Office, Dublin; European Commission Representation, Dublin; Irish Humanities Alliance; Irish Association for Contemporary European Studies; Higher Education Authority, International section; University of Limerick UL50; Embassy of France in Dublin.

For more information see here or contact Professor Joachim Fischer at joachim.fischer@ul.ie.