On 23 March 2023, Vice-Rector for Material and Human Resources Prof. Dalibor Kesić, PhD, and Vice-Rector for International and Interuniversity Cooperation Prof. Milica Balaban, PhD, had a meeting with the Ambassador of France Christine Toudic and Ambassador of Switzerland to BH Daniel Hunn in the Rectorate of the University of Banja Luka.
As pointed out in the meeting, the University of Banja Luka has good cooperation with universities from these two countries. Among other issues, it was emphasized that the University of Banja Luka conducts the Erasmus+ exchange of students with the University of Poitiers. It was also emphasized that a group of ten students from ISTOM College of International Agro-Development of the French city of Angers stayed at the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Banja Luka last year.
As for the cooperation with higher education institutions from Switzerland, it was stated that cooperation has been established with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland.
The Ambassador of France pointed out that it is significant that the French language is studied at the University of Banja Luka as part of the Study Programme of Romance Studies at the Faculty of Philology. As she stated, there is a need for staff in French companies, which gives graduates of this study programme the possibility of getting employed quickly.
The meeting was attended by the Director of the French Institute in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Cultural Advisor at the Embassy of France in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jean-Christophe Thibault, Dean of the Faculty of Philology Prof. Biljana Babić, PhD, and Milica Mijatović from the Banja Luka Office of the French Institute in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Meeting with students
Later that day, the ambassadors also visited the Faculty of Philology, where they talked with the students about the challenges of the Francophonie nowadays. It is an event organized on the occasion of the Francophonie Day, which is traditionally celebrated around the world in the second half of March. In 1988, member countries of the International Organization of Francophonie chose the 20th of March as the International Day of Francophonie, and since then over 300 million francophones worldwide in over 80 countries from all five continents have been celebrating their common language.