Unique Link Creates Student Mobility Between Ireland and Ontario

Ontario colleges join forces with Irish institutes of technology

TORONTO, Nov. 24, 2011 /CNW/ - Colleges Ontario, the organization representing Ontario's 24 colleges, is joining forces with Institutes of Technology Ireland (IOTI) to sign a unique agreement that allows Ontario college students to complete degree programs in Ireland.

In return, Irish students will ultimately be able to obtain graduate certificates from Ontario colleges.

Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario, and Gerry Murray, the CEO of IOTI, hailed the unique agreement, which is precedent-setting in Canada and Ireland.

"This offers tremendous mobility and flexibility to our students," said Franklin, adding, "Ontario college students will get a unique opportunity to complete degree programs overseas."

"What makes this so unique is that it's a 'system-to-system' agreement, rather than just an agreement between individual institutions," said Murray. "We are starting with three programs: hospitality, business and electronics engineering, but we will build from there."

The agreement would allow graduates of two-year college programs in Ontario to secure a degree with two further years of study in Ireland. In some cases, graduates of three-year programs will be able to secure a degree with one further year of study.

Under the agreement, students would receive financial support to study abroad. For example, Ontario students going to Ireland would see their tuition fees reduced by more than 15 per cent.

IOTI and Colleges Ontario will sign a memorandum of understanding to mark the historic co-operative agreement at Colleges Ontario's Higher Education Summit at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto on Monday, November 28th.

The first Ontario students eligible to complete their studies in Ireland could be headed overseas as early as September 2012.

SOURCE Colleges Ontario

For further information:

Jim Maclean


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