Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Questions (102)

John Lyons


101 Deputy John Lyons asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will consider setting national targets for Irish work and study placements in European countries to aid development of language skills; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35699/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Skills)

I accept the desirability of promoting work and study placements in European countries in order to acquire expertise, including linguistic competency. Considerable numbers of Irish students are currently studying or working abroad.

National targets are a feature of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) of the European Union, which is designed to promote educational mobility in the European Union for study and work-placement. The Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013 (LLP) comprises a range of programmes supporting cross-border mobility, networking and sharing of best practice. With an overall budget of nearly €7 billion for 2007 to 2013, the Lifelong Learning Programme enables individuals at all stages of their lives to pursue learning opportunities across Europe. Ireland receives some €10m annually from the LLP. The Programme will end in 2013. A new programme will be introduced in 2014, to run until 2020. Under the proposals of the European Commission for the new programme, the number of participants is expected to double.

The Government's international education strategy also encourages education institutions to promote outward mobility of staff and students as part of their own institutional internationalisation strategies.