Network of Secondary and Third Level German Education in Ireland
CO-OPERATION BETWEEN SECONDARY AND THIRD LEVEL
The consequences of Britain leaving the EU exposes Ireland to a wide range of political and economic challenges. Irish business has to diversify and seek new markets and is therefore increasingly looking to European markets, especially Germany.
The Department of Education and Skills (DES) is also committed to meeting these challenges by ensuring that Irish students are prepared for a future in Europe where foreign language skills will play an increasingly important role. Starting in 2017, the Goethe-Institute began by encouraging collaboration between secondary and third level institutions in order to promote and support new developments in this area. This was welcomed by German lecturers and teachers, as well as the DES.
Starting with the academic year 2019/2020, we continued to support cooperation between institutions by encouraging more regional networking and other activities or projects which promoted German in secondary and higher education.
In autumn 2019, we supported several workshops which were designed for pupils of secondary schools and students of third level education. The aim was to enable pupils to come into the universities to familiarize them with the university environment and to break down and reduce potential fears and fears. These workshops also allowed pupils to learn about German language and culture as taught in higher education and to increase their interest and motivation in learning a modern language.
One example from Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LyIT) was the invitation for local secondary school pupils to attend a series of activities in the institute to meet and interact with Erasmus students from Germany. Together with the programme Bridge21 based in Trinity College, we supported the provision of some modules for inner-city schools, including German language.
Another example of an activity at the Institute of Technology in Sligo was the participation of the Goethe-Institut in a German Week, where we assisted with workshops on environmental issues.
The Goethe-Institut also supported the development of online materials at Technical University Dublin. These were originally designed for students in Higher Education and are now being adapted for use in secondary schools. All online materials are available through anyone4german.com.
An end of year networking event at the residency of the German Ambassador allowed teachers, lecturers and decision-makers from various educational institutions to re-connect with people and institutions they had worked with in the past as well as creating new links and making plans for future collaboration.