28 May, 2019 - Minister McHugh visits Washington as part of Global Ireland 2025

Programme of events includes meeting with US Secretary for Education Betsy DeVos


The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. will today begin his visit to Washington to promote Ireland’s education system and look at Ireland’s relationship with the United States.

Minister McHugh’s visit to Washington, D.C. follows the publication of the whole-of-Government Global Ireland 2025: Ireland’s Strategy for the US and Canada. This strategy was launched in the US by the Tánaiste and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney in February and the following March in Canada by Minister Richard Bruton and Minister of State Ciarán Cannon

The strategy envisages Ireland doubling its impact in the US and Canada by 2025.

Minister McHugh will begin with a meeting with the board and chair of the Washington-Ireland Programme. The Washington-Ireland Programme for Service and Leadership (WIP) is a six-month programme of personal and professional development that brings university students from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to Washington for summer internships and leadership training.

The Minister will also attend the opening plenary at the NAFSA (Association of International Educators) annual conference. The conference will feature a discussion hosted by Dr. Madeleine K Albright and Gen. Colin L Powell. The Minister will visit the Education in Ireland exhibition at the NAFSA annual conference which is the largest learning and networking event for all international educators and organisations.

The final day of the visit will see Minister McHugh meet with US Secretary for Education Betsy DeVos. This meeting will look at education policy developments in both countries, common challenges across the two education systems and the Department’s International Education Strategy, Irish Educated, Globally Connected, 2016-2020.

Speaking ahead of the visit Minister McHugh said: “Ireland is one of the most globalised countries in the world. As an open, trading economy, our future prosperity depends fundamentally on our international connectivity and competitiveness.

“Our relationship with the United States has long been based on common ancestral ties and shared values. I believe there is significant potential to further deepen the cooperation between our two education systems which will be of mutual benefit. I will also take this opportunity to explore what Irish third level institutions can offer to prospective exchange students or students with longer term ambitions.

“I look forward to the opportunity to meet with Secretary DeVos and to discuss the common opportunities and challenges that we encounter in our respective areas.”