Minister Cannon leads first Education Services mission to Vietnam

“Education in Ireland” opens first office in Malaysia

The Minister of State for Training and Skills, Ciarán Cannon TD, will this week [10 Dec 2012] lead a seven-day “Education in Ireland” mission to Vietnam and Malaysia, organised by Enterprise Ireland. This mission forms part of the Government’s strategy to promote Ireland as a world-class destination for international education, and double the number of international students studying in Ireland by 2015.

The Minister will be accompanied by 13 higher education institutions and the visits are being assisted by the Irish Embassies in Vietnam and Malaysia. This visit follows the recent successful education mission to India also led by Minister Cannon.

Speaking in advance of his departure, Minister Cannon said:

“This is the first education services mission to Vietnam by Irish higher education institutions.  Vietnam has a very young population with a strong desire for quality education. More than 100,000 Vietnamese students travel overseas each year for higher education – we want to ensure Ireland has a share of that group.

“In Malaysia, we already have a strong reputation for the quality of our Medical degree courses. This mission will build on that reputation and create awareness of Ireland as a destination of choice for other disciplines such as Science, ICT, Business Studies and the Arts and Humanities. The opening of the first “Education in Ireland” office in Malaysia is a major step in enhancing education links between Malaysia and Ireland.”

In Vietnam Minister Cannon will visit Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City where he will:

  • Take part in bilateral talks with key Vietnam Government Ministries
  • Attend an Ireland Education Workshop to bring Irish and Vietnamese educators together to form working relationships
  • Visit an Education Fair and attend business and networking sessions to raise awareness of “Education in Ireland”
  • Witness the signing of a number of MOUs (Memorandums of Understanding) between Irish institutions and partners in Vietnam
  • Attend a conferring ceremony for Vietnamese graduates of the Smurfit Business School, UCD, who have completed their Masters’ programme under the Irish Aid IDEAS programme. This is the first time this prestigious event is being held in Vietnam
  • Visit a number of important Irish Aid-funded projects which provide skills and training for people with disabilities

On 12th December the mission will travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where the Minister will:

  • Hold bilateral talks with a number of Malaysian Ministries
  • Open the first “Education in Ireland” office in Malaysia, representing a major step in bringing Malaysia and Ireland closer together in terms of education services
  • Meet with local education institutions to support Irish higher education institutions ready to grow links
  • Witness the signing of a number of MOUs (Memorandums of Understanding) between Irish institutions and partners in Malaysia
  • Attend the Star Education Fair at which 12 Irish higher education institutions will be participating. The fair attracts over 80,000 prospective students each year
  • Attend a conferring ceremony for graduates of Carlow IT’s Aeronautical Engineering degree course

Enterprise Ireland’s Director of ASEAN, Michael Garvey, who is accompanying Minister Cannon on the education mission, commented:

“Ireland is renowned for the quality of its education and particularly for the fact that it produces graduates that are fit for today’s high-tech industries. This mission will help to open doors for Irish higher education institutions in Vietnam as they actively seek to win a share of the 100,000 Vietnamese students who travel overseas each year.

“In Malaysia the mission will help to build on our existing strong links with the Malaysian Government on education services. The mission will also endorse the success achieved to date by ambitious Irish companies who are already operating successfully in the region.”

While the main focus of the mission is on Education services, the Minister will also use the visit to support innovative Irish companies who are successfully operating in the region. In Vietnam he will officially open Cork company Glandore Systems’ new offices in Ho Chi Minh City. He will also formally launch the new Vietnam-Irish Chamber of Commerce.

The mission to Vietnam and Malaysia will run from 9-15 December 2012. 


For further information contact:

Sarah Miley 01 889 2322 or 087 782 0941 (for Minister Cannon or education related queries)

Eileen Banks 01 7272805 or 087 244 5814 (for queries on other aspects of the mission)


Note to Editors:

The Irish Government’s strategy “Investing in Global Relationships” identified Vietnam and Malaysia as priority markets to promote Ireland as a world class destination for education. The objectives for Enterprise Ireland over the next three years are to:

  • raise awareness of Ireland’s education system in Asia
  • encourage Irish HEIs to develop collaborative relationships with their counterparts in Vietnam and Malaysia
  • double the number of international students studying in Ireland by 2015.

Education in Ireland is the Government initiative to market Irish third level education to overseas students. The initiative is led by Enterprise Ireland and aims to double the number of international students studying in Irish colleges by 2015. The programme aims to highlight the strengths of Ireland’s education offering in key target markets including India, China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and the USA. 

In addition to being future ambassadors for Ireland, international students also help to generate jobs in Ireland. It is estimated that every 100 additional international students who come to Ireland support the creation of 15 local jobs, through spending on tuition, accommodation and other living expenses.