Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. Minister of State for Higher Education, Ireland arrived in New Delhi to lead the ‘Education in Ireland’ trade mission to India.
The trade mission is built around Education in Ireland Fairs organised by Enterprise Ireland in 5 cities namely Chennai, Bangalore, Kochi, New Delhi and Pune. Admission staff and academics from 20 Irish Higher Education Institutions engaged with over 2,000 Indian students during the Education in Ireland Fairs, making this the largest education mission for India till date.
Speaking at the Irish education fair in New Delhi, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said, “I am delighted to lead the largest Education in Ireland mission to India to date, where 20 Irish higher education institutions will accompany me to promote the Irish higher education sector. Ireland’s Higher Education Institutions are at the forefront of research and innovation. We are known for delivering ‘employment-ready’ skills so students can transition smoothly into the workplace. This has been an important driver in Ireland’s transformation into a high tech, knowledge based economy. The possibility of gaining valuable post-study work experience makes Ireland a very compelling option for Indian students.”
O’Connor further added, “This mission is part of the Department of Education and Skills’ plan to substantially increase the number of international students studying in our higher education institutions, by 33%, from 33,000 to 44,000 by 2020.”
Minister Mitchell O’Connor also visited Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) while in Delhi, where she met the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. M. Jagadesh Kumar and witnessed the signing of an agreement of understanding between JNU and University of Limerick.
She also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Birla Institute of Technology & Science and Trinity College Dublin.
At a reception hosted on Friday night by the Irish Ambassador to India H.E. Brian McElduff, Minister Mitchell O’Connor announced details of two new programmes launched by Cork Institute of Technology and NUI Galway. It served as an open call for applications for the ‘Government of Ireland -International Education Scholarships’ followed by the launch of ‘Ireland-India Alumni Network’.
The launch of Cork Institute of Technology’s MSc in Artificial Intelligence and MSc in Business & Hospitality offered at NUI Galway’s Shannon College is expected to attract a high level of interest from Indian students during the Education in Ireland fair.
Giles O’Neill, Head of Education in Ireland at Enterprise Ireland said; “India is now the fastest growing education market for Irish higher education institutions. Latest figures from Enterprise Ireland show a 90% growth in exports from the Irish education sector to India since 2013. In 2017, Higher Education Institutions saw a rise of 25% in the level of interest from Indian students wishing to study in Ireland. Based on the positive response and levels of interest we have seen from across India on this Education in Ireland mission, we expect to see similar growth in the next academic cycle. This is as a result of the commitment and resource dedicated to India by our international offices and academics in Irish higher education institutions. Most importantly, it is down to the experience those Indian students experience whilst in Ireland – a world class education, a tremendous life experience and something that prepares them well for their own international careers”.