21 April 2016 - 25% increase in international students studying in Ireland since 2012

Minister O’Sullivan honours the contribution of International Student Ambassadors promoting Education in Irelandglobally

Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan T.D. is attending the annual ceremony for International Student Ambassadors at Farmleigh today (Thursday 21 April). The event recognises the contribution made by international Student Ambassadors to supporting the work of Education in Ireland, managed by Enterprise Ireland, in attracting international students to Ireland, as well as honouring the Higher Education Authority’s Government of Ireland International Education Scholars.

Now in its fifth year, the Student Ambassador Programme is a key element in the promotion of Ireland as a centre of excellence in international education. 75 students from Canada, Chile, Brazil, Russia, China, India, Germany, Malaysia, Nigeria and USA, studying at 23 higher education institutes across the country, are actively promoting Ireland as a destination of choice for third level education.

In the highly connected world of millennials, peer to peer communication in international higher education is becoming increasingly valued. A recent study by research firm Voxburner noted that when making decisions millennials place less value on celebrity-driven promotion, favouring genuine stories from ‘real’ people. The success of the Student Ambassador Programme is based firmly on the genuine experience of international students who are studying in Ireland’s higher level institutes and are happy to share their positive experiences with over 3.5 million Education in Ireland online followers.

Presenting the Student Ambassadors with Certificates of Recognition, Minister O’Sullivan, said: “I want to thank you for choosing to study in Ireland, and for sharing your experience with your peers around the world. I congratulate each of you and wish you well in your future studies and the careers you choose. We hope that you will stay in touch long after your study here is complete. We will watch with pride as you, our international sons and daughters, make your way through life”.

Giles O’Neill, Head of Education at Enterprise Ireland commented: “Enterprise Ireland estimates that the international student sector is worth over €1 billion a year to the Irish economy. Since 2012, we have seen an increase of 25% in the number of international students choosing to study in Ireland. This success is in no small part due to our international Student Ambassadors who are virtually connecting with their peers and prospective students around the world, actively encouraging them to study in Ireland”.

Honouring Government of Ireland International Education Scholars on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills, Tom Boland, Chief Executive, Higher Education Authority said: “The Government of Ireland Scholarship programme is a success on several levels.  It is a good example of partnership between government and the universities and colleges.  It acts as a demonstration of the excellence in our higher education institutions and brings to our system students of the highest academic standards.  It also acts as a cultural bridge between Ireland and the participating countries, forging the strong personal and institutional linkages that are so important in promoting mutual understanding and friendship.  The HEA is proud to manage the programme on behalf of the Minister for Education and Skills and congratulates each of the successful recipients”.


To read more about Education in Ireland’s International Student Ambassadors please visit: http://blog.educationinireland.com/2015-student-ambassadors/

Photos will be syndicated by Gary O’Neill Photography and are available on request.

For more information contact: Paula Chase, Press Officer, Enterprise Ireland:   01-7272842, paula.chase@enterprise-ireland.com