Viva España! (Issue 20, 2009)


Professor Santiago González y Fernández-Corugedo and Professor John Rosenberg signing the agreement

On Thursday, 19 October, La Trobe University entered a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Education of Spain. The memorandum is intended to promote the use of the Spanish language in Victoria, by creating new courses and academic and research programs related to the teaching of Spanish language and culture.

The Spanish Delegation was led by His Excellency Mr Carlos Sánchez de Boado y de la Válgoma, Ambassador of Spain to Australia, and formed by Mrs. Rosa Prieto, Spanish Education Advisor in Victoria and Professor Santiago González y Fernández-Corugedo, Counsellor for Education in Australia.

The two institutions will be actively promoting cultural activities, such as lectures, conferences, film festivals or exhibitions and participating in all initiatives that will increase the academic and social prestige of Spanish language.

As part of the agreement, the Ministry of Education of Spain will be providing experts to teach, lecture and tutor both on campus and online and facilitating the recognition of courses delivered by La Trobe in Spain.

La Trobe University on the other hand will be supplying the resources necessary for the implementation of the courses, establishing contacts with schools and higher education institutions in order to promote the activities developed by this memorandum, as well as being in charge of the registration and administrative processes of students and courses.

‘This agreement will allow students who are fluent in Spanish to be immersed in a world class LOTE (Languages other than English) teaching methodology. Future students in the La Trobe Spanish Program will be able to apply for places in the Language and Culture assistant program, where selected candidates are paid as English language teaching assistants in Spain,’ says Dr Ana Maria Ducasse, Program Coordinator and Lecturer in the Spanish.

The two institutions were represented by Professor John Rosenberg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Future students) at La Trobe University and Professor Santiago González y Fernández-Corugedo. The memorandum came into effect on the day of its signing and it will be valid for a period of four years.

‘This agreement continues the high degree of formal and informal arrangements that have existed over many years between the Spanish Government and La Trobe University. It will give a boost to our already popular Spanish language courses through the continued provision of teachers from Spain. It will also offer students from the two countries excellent opportunities to study in the partner country and promote the internationalisation of La Trobe University,’ says Professor Rosenberg.

La Trobe University’s Spanish Program was founded in 1968. As part of the School of Historical and European Studies, the program offers subjects ranging from Spanish, Catalan and Portuguese language, as well as electives focusing on socio-cultural or literary topics.