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France and Germany step up co-operation
France and Germany are stepping up their co-operation in the area of higher education, in the hope of becoming the motor for creating a European higher-education area. Ministerial officials from both countries have signed a common statement on the transparency and comparability of vocational qualifications for 40 job profiles. This means that the respective qualification (whether for computer specialist, mechanic, carpenter, caterer or roofer) is immediately recognizable, regardless of the country in which the person completed his or her training. The common statement was signed during the 40th anniversary celebration of the Elysee treaty between France and Germany.
Michael Catenhusen, German under-secretary of state in the federal ministry for education and research, said that Germany’s close co-ordination with France in the fields of education and research was not replicated with any other country and was further evidenced by the two countries’ joint proposal on growth in Europe. This initiative highlights technological progress and research co-operation as priorities. Mr Catenhusen also said that the establishment of a fifth Franco-German graduates’ college took the countries one step closer to creating joint postgraduate courses. France and Germany are also working on closer networking of their scientific spin-offs.