19 November, 2014 - Minister English returns from successful trade mission in India

The Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, has just returned from an Education in Ireland three day trade mission to India, aimed at attracting Indian students to study in Ireland and to enhance collaborations on projects between Irish and Indian higher education institutes (HEIs). The visit involved 15 HEIs, including all seven Irish universities.

Minister English noted the substantial progress being made by the higher education sector in India on a variety of levels. Student numbers have already doubled in the last three years and the current target is to double the numbers again in a three year timeframe. To help achieve this, four Education in Ireland fairs were held in New Delhi, Pune, Chennai and Bangalore, to highlight study opportunities here.

In support of these fairs, Irish HEIs are promoting over 60 partnership arrangements with schools, colleges and universities from across India. New partnerships were announced between University College Dublin and BITS Pilani on a joint degree programme, and new market offices were opened by both University College Cork and University Limerick.

Over 200 scholarships for Indian students were announced during the mission, including National College of Ireland offering 40 scholarships for their masters programme in Cloud Computing.

A meeting with the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore and Trinity College Dublin highlighted interest in working closely together on entrepreneurship and innovation in both countries. Further meetings are planned to take place before the end of the year to progress this.

The Memorandum of Agreement signed between the Government of Karnataka and Science Gallery International was an important milestone in the plan to establish the first Science Gallery outside Europe. The aim is to cultivate creative thinking, allowing people to easily move between the fields of science, technology, engineering, maths and the arts, driving new generations of academics and business leaders across continents.  

The Minister said that he had been very impressed with the commitment of the HEIs for India, many of which have a clear long term plan for the market. He said: “Ireland is developing a strong reputation in India for its educational excellence. Our location in Europe, close ties to the USA, the fact that we are English speaking and can offer Indian students and their parents a return on their investment in education, make Ireland a very competitive place.

“There are a host of other collaborative projects and initiatives which I expect to be developed over the next 12 months that will bring our two nations closer together, at both an educational and commercial level“.

Giles O’Neill, the Head of Education in Ireland in Enterprise Ireland added that Enterprise Ireland is looking forward to further supporting the activities of the HEIs in India: “There is a significant prize for both Ireland and India if we take a long term view of what might be possible by working closely together. Indian and Irish students involved in research and study together, combined with a sound grounding in industry, can only lead to stronger ties between both nations and a solid foundation to build from.“

Over 20 media interviews and photocalls took place over the three days of engagements, helping to raise the profile of the Education in Ireland brand, and to increase Ireland's overall visibility in the high growth Indian market.


Notes for Editors:

Events during the visit included-

Bangalore- Tour of the Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore), and an interactive discussion on key Education and Research themes.

Bangalore- Signing of Memorandum of Agreement on the establishment of the Science Gallery Bangalore, the first Science Gallery outside Europe

New Delhi- Education Agents workshop, in the Irish embassy. 

New Delhi- Official launch of 40 National College of Ireland scholarships for Masters programmes, and of the UCD and UCC’s market offices in India.

New Delhi- Meeting between UCD and Birla Institute of Technology and Science- Pilani

New Delhi- Saturday, 15th November- Minister to attend Education in Ireland student recruitment fair.