15 September, 2018 - Minister Bruton leads Education & Trade Mission to Malaysia and Indonesia

Enterprise Ireland education mission to include the signing of several new bilateral agreements between Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Malaysian and Indonesian universities

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D.,will today lead a five day Enterprise Ireland education mission to Indonesia (17th and 18th September 2018) and Malaysia (19th - 21st September 2018).

This is the Minister’s third major education trade mission as Minister for Education and Skills. It will be his 32nd major trade and investment mission since his appointment to government in 2011.

The Minister will meet with a number of key partners during the trip and take part in a number of strategic meetings, aimed at improving educational co-operation between Ireland, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Minister will be accompanied by eleven Irish higher education institutions on the education trade mission and will witness the signing of 4 new partnerships agreements between Irish and Indonesian higher education institutions and 15 new partnership agreements between Irish and Malaysian higher education institutions, which will enhance Ireland’s educational collaborations in the South East Asian region.

In Indonesia

The Minister will arrive in Jakarta, where on the 17th of September he will meet with the Indonesian Minister of Research, Technology, and Higher Education, H.E. Muhammad Nasir.

During this meeting the two Ministers will sign a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the fields of Higher Education and Research. The signing of this MoU will facilitate a deepening of the relationship between Ireland and Indonesia, allowing for the sharing of policy information and the promotion of academic, staff, student and research exchanges, to the mutual benefit of both Countries.

Also on the 17th, the Minister is meeting the The Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education (Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidikan / LPDP) which finances higher education Masters and PhD scholarship programmes for Indonesian citizens to study abroad.

At this meeting, the Minister will highlight the quality of the Irish higher education system and encourage the LPDP to work with our higher education institutions on areas that they can best collaborate in.

The day will conclude with a networking reception for 100 guests, including key partners from Enterprise Ireland, Education in Ireland, the Irish Community, Alumni of Irish Higher Education Institutions and other stakeholders.

The next day, the Minister will visit Universitas Indonesia (UI), which is Indonesia’s oldest and most prestigious universities to address the university staff and students on the Irish Higher Education System. 

In Malaysia

On the 19th of September, Minister Bruton will arrive in Penang to formally launch RCSI and UCD’s Malaysian Campus (RUMC), one of only 10 international campuses in Malaysia that have been awarded Foreign University Branch Campus Status, and after Brexit, the only campus from an EU Country with that distinction.

The Minister will then travel to the University of Malaya (UM) in Kuala Lumpur, where he will address the Asia Europe Institute on “Higher Education and Digital – Impact on the Economy, Business and Society”. The Minister will take this opportunity to outline the policy measures he has introduced in the digital education area which will assist the Irish Education and Training System achieving its goal of being the best in Europe by 2026.

The Minister will finish the mission in Putrajaya, Malaysia’s administrative capital, where he will meet with Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Deputy Prime Minister, Wan Azizah, Minister for Education, Dr Maszlee Malik and Minister for Health, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad before hosting a networking reception for Irish and Malaysian education partners and business leaders at the Irish Ambassador’s residence in Kuala Lumpur.

Speaking before departing, Minister Bruton said, “I am very much looking forward to this mission, building on the work already done with Indonesia and laying the groundwork for a mutually beneficial relationship between Ireland and Indonesia on all aspects of higher education. In Malaysia, where we already have a long standing relationship in medical education, to broaden that and to look for further opportunities to work together on the science and business side.

“Increasing international cooperation is a key objective under my Action Plan for Education, which aims to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe within a decade, and our International Education Strategy. By strengthening and building on our partnerships with institutions in these countries, we can ensure mutual benefit for both the institutions and students alike.”

Giles O’Neill, Head of Education in Ireland said; “with 11 Irish HEIs taking part in this mission, their international teams, supported by senior academics fully engaged with the programme, it doesn’t surprise me that there are 19 agreements being signed, providing a basis for deeper international collaboration in ASEAN, a key objective under our 2020 plans.”