Colleges to share expertise with US
Northern Ireland colleges are to share expertise with their counterparts in the US under a new international agreement.
Colleges Northern Ireland (CNI), the body representing regional colleges, has signed the transatlantic deal with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).
The agreement was sealed at the World Congress of Colleges currently taking place in Birmingham.
Vice chairperson of Colleges NI Trevor Neilands said: "This is an important agreement for the future of our colleges.
"I believe there is much we can learn from each other about how we meet the needs of the communities we serve and, particularly, how we can strengthen our pivotal role in supporting the local economy."
Under a Memorandum of Understanding for International Co-operation, the two organisations have agreed to a number of initiatives, including sharing good and innovative practices in teaching and learning, learner engagement, learner support, management and governance.
They will also explore joint activities with industry partners and investigate joint approaches to international development and/or international markets and the accessing of funds.
The AACC was founded in 1920 and has become the national "voice for community colleges" in the US.
The association represents almost 1,200 two-year, associate degree-granting institutions and more than 11 million students.
President and CEO of the organisation George R Boggs said: "We are delighted to have developed a partnership with Colleges Northern Ireland and look forward to working together more closely in the future."