Published on 

Minister of State Collins concludes visit to British Colombia

Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins concluded a visit today to British Colombia during which he signed a Memorandum of Understanding between this Department and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training of the Province of British Columbia, Canada on cooperation in higher education. 


Welcoming its conclusion, Minster Collins said: “For Ireland, this is an important occasion, and we should not underestimate this.


“Through the MoU, both Ireland and Canada are firmly declaring that we are once again resuming one of the key cornerstones of international relations – the deepening of relations between our education institutions through person-to-person engagements. 


“I have seen in my meetings with Presidents of Colleges here in BC that there is so much potential to share knowledge and learning across our further and higher education systems.”


Minister Collins added: “I am delighted to have met Minsters Kang and Kahlon during my visit here.  Ireland values its deep rooted and historical connections with Canada, and our Consul General here in Vancouver, Frank Flood, has been crucial in deepening our bilateral relations not just in education, but across research, trade and tourism.” 


During his visit to Vancouver, the Minister delivered a keynote address to the British Columbia Council International Education conference in Whistler, as part of the Ireland Day, and also visited British Columbia Institute of Technology and University of British Columbia. 


The Minister also witnessed the signing of a number of Memoranda of Understanding on institutional cooperation between Atlantic TU and Vancouver Community College, Atlantic TU and Douglas College and Munster TU and Camosum College, and acknowledged the valuable work of Enterprise Ireland in promoting Ireland’s strong reputation in education throughout the world. 


The Minister also met with the members of the Irish community in Vancouver, including groups supported through the Emigrant Support Programme. 


Separately, Minister Collins took time to meet with the family of Eoghan Byrne, who was recently killed in a hit and run in Vancouver, and expressed the Irish Government’s condolences on their loss.