Together with Global Wales, ColegauCymru was pleased to visit Brussels recently in an exercise to scope out opportunities for collaborative projects and partnership development between Welsh, Flemish and German organisations.
The visit, which took place 27-29 June 2023, was undertaken by ColegauCymru International Project Manager, Siân Holleran and Global Wales FE Project Officer, Bethan Everitt, and focused on vocational education and skills.
Europe is a priority market for both Welsh Government and Global Wales, with Global Wales committed to building on connections made during a delegation to Brussels in October 2022. This visit was attended by ColegauCymru International Group Chair, Dr Andrew Cornish.
Opportunities for collaboration
Key areas for potential collaboration with Flanders are teaching and learning, leadership in education and regulation. Key areas for potential collaboration with Baden-Wurttemberg are focused on the automotive industry and its response to changing technologies to address the green agenda and the resulting upskilling/retraining of staff.
Global Wales has funding to develop possible future partnerships with both regions. Welsh Government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Flanders in Belgium and is currently finalising an MOU with Baden-Wurttemberg in Germany.
Meetings were held with staff from several organisations including:
- Welsh Government office in Brussels and Wales Higher Education Brussels
- Go!, a Flemish community education organisation and the Flanders Ministry of Education
- European Regions Research and Innovation Network (ERRIN)
- Automotive Skills Alliance
- Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB)
The visit successfully cemented established relationships whilst providing opportunities to work with new partners. ColegauCymru and Global Wales are now looking forward to developing these partnerships further and providing opportunities for our FE colleges.
The Global Wales programme provides a strategic, collaborative approach to international higher education and further education in Wales.
The programme is a partnership between Universities Wales, ColegauCymru, Welsh Government, British Council Wales, and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.
Siân Holleran, International Project Manager