Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation
Despite the crisis hitting Spain, cooperation between France and Spain is displaying a dynamism that is manifested daily through substantial exchanges in the areas of education, language and culture. The French cultural network in Spain [five French Institutes (8,300 students in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, Saragossa) and 21 Alliances Françaises (9,600 students)] allows for a balanced presence all throughout the country, which is important in a highly decentralized country. About 9,500 teachers teach French (in primary and secondary schools) to 1,200,000 students (16.2 percent).Although it is the second modern language taught, France’s position remains fragile: learning a second modern European language is optional.
Educational and linguistic cooperation
The system of 23 French schools in Spain enrolling 20,067 students (11 AEFE institutions [11,257], three approved private institutions [3,332] and nine MLF institutions [5,478]), with 36 percent French, 60 percent nationals and 3 percent other foreign students, is continuing its sustained growth. The ever increasing demand will lead to expanding the network, particularly in Madrid and Barcelona.
The number of Spanish students coming to study in France has remained relatively stable over the past decade. In 2011, there were about 5,400 Spanish students in France, 3,932 of whom were enrolled in universities and 1,468 of whom attended grandes écoles. France is the second-leading host country for Spanish students.
Campus France in Spain is composed of a main site in Madrid, a branch at the French Institute in Barcelona and relays in the Consulates General in Bilbao and Seville. In 2011, 86 grants from the French government, including 57 academic scholarships, were awarded.
In 2008, an agreement on the dual delivery of the final examination for secondary studies (called the bachibac agreement) was signed by the Ministries of Education of both countries. It specifies the modalities of establishing a programme allowing candidates to obtain the baccalaureate and the bachiller at the same time. This was established for the 2010 school year and allowed access to higher education in both countries.
French bilingual sections: these are present in primary and secondary education and are a major aspect of our linguistic and educational cooperation. The intergovernmental framework agreement on the linguistic, educational and cultural systems in educational institutions by the two countries’ Ministries of Education, signed on 16 May 2005 in Madrid, has strengthened the French bilingual sections.
For the 2011 academic year, there were 341 French bilingual sections in 16 of the 17 autonomous communities, which educate a total of 27,000 students, which shows remarkable growth, compared with 2005, when there were only 124 students. These sections are supported by French language assistant positions.
Cooperation and exchanges between the autonomous communities and vocational and technical training academies: a cross-border approach has been adopted, in particular between the Midi-Pyrénées region and the Catalonia community, with a study of the creation of a research and higher education centre.
Cooperation with French studies departments, which train future French teachers: the objective is to support the expected change in instruction given and training provided following the harmonization of the European Higher Education Area.
There is an imbalance between Spanish language instruction in the French educational system and French language instruction in the Spanish educational system. The demand to learn French has not proven to be very satisfactory. Spain’s Ministry of Education actively supports learning English, offering a 1000 euro scholarship to young people ages 18 to 30, who are students or working, and who wish to improve their English.
The cultural and artistic cooperation actions with Spain are high quality.
Exhibitions: Picasso’s work brought together over 500,000 people in Madrid in spring 2008 at the Reina Sofia Museum and 800,000 in Paris for the exhibition “Picasso and the Masters.” On 29 April 2009, with a loan from the Louvre, the Prado inaugurated its new “guest masterpiece” programme on the occasion of the French President’s State visit. After the “Spanish Night” exhibition presented in Paris at the opening of the European Cultural Season during the French Presidency, the Spanish Ministry of Culture wanted to present in Paris, during the Spanish Presidency, the first retrospective exhibition on fashion in Spain in 30 years.
The presence of French artists in Spain: as part of the most important festival on the peninsula - the Autumn Festival in Madrid - France was on top with the number of guest foreign companies and the number of shows. Initiated in 2007, the “Demon” design centre allows French and Spanish artists to present new works together in major artistic and literary events, especially: the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Manifesta 8, Madrid International Jazz Festival, Festival Dantzaldia in Bilbao and Dansa Valencia.
In the book sector, there is a very strong intermingling of the Spanish and French cultures, keeping in mind that since 2004, Spain has been the leading country in term of purchasing French books in the world. In 2008, nearly 900 books were translated from French into Spanish, which has helped promote French books in Spanish and Spanish speaking markets in Latin America and Mexico. The Spanish group, Planeta, one of the top seven international publishers, is present in France, which plays a role in promoting editorial exchanges between the two countries.
The French Institute of Spain and the Alliance Française in Madrid participate in the EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) network, which was created two years ago and brings together ten European countries.
Scientific and technical cooperation
Cooperation agreements bind major French research-development bodies such as the CNRS, INSERM, INRA, and IFREMER and their Spanish counterparts.
Collaboration with regard to the CNRS’ tools involves five international scientific cooperation programs, two associated European laboratories (LEA) and ten joint participations in European and international research groups (GDRE-GDRI).
Under the framework of the Hubert Curien Partnership (PHC), about 30 joint research projectsare under way, aiming to support the integration of Franco-Spanish teams in the European Research Area (ERA).
Updated on 04.09.12
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