Minister Cannon leads largest ever Irish education delegation to India

Drive to increase Ireland's share of 200,000 Indian students who study abroad each year

The Minister of State for Training and Skills, Ciarán Cannon TD, will this week lead Ireland’s largest ever education mission to India. He will visit New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai, the country’s main centres of politics, high-tech industry and commerce.  

The aim will be to highlight Ireland as a centre for international study and increase our market share of the 200,000 Indian students who travel overseas for education each year. 

Over 60 leading academics from 16 higher education institutions are participating on the trade mission under the Education in Ireland brand, the umbrella brand for promoting Ireland’s higher education sector in overseas markets, managed by Enterprise Ireland. To promote Ireland as a hub for global education and global business, they are joined by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), IDA Ireland, and the leading multi-national company, Paypal.

This cross-agency approach, coupled with valuable input from a leading corporate investor in Ireland, will demonstrate the high level of commitment and integration across the Irish education, research and industry sectors.

Speaking before his departure for India, Minister Cannon said, “This is a huge opportunity for Ireland. Indian students are highly sought after by top-class education institutions around the world and we want more of them to choose Ireland.”

“We will be sending out a strong message to prospective Indian students that an Irish education is valued by international employers and will provide a real boost to their future career prospects.”  

The Minister also highlighted the economic benefits for the country, “In addition to being future ambassadors for Ireland, international students also help to generate jobs here 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.”

There are currently almost 1,000 Indian students studying in Ireland, mainly in post-graduate degree courses in Engineering, Pharma, Business, Accounting, Computer Sciences and Hospitality Management.  

Enterprise Ireland’s Executive Director, Julie Sinnamon, who is accompanying Minister Cannon on the trade mission, added, “Our education relationship with India, which is a priority market under the Government's Trade Strategy, is strong. Innovative and ambitious Irish education institutes already active in India are raising awareness of the quality and high standards of Irish education providers. This education services trade mission is about cementing and building on existing links and opening new doors to create awareness of Ireland as a destination of choice for Indian students.”

“The Indian education sector is one of the biggest in the world. Total expenditure in the sector was USD 100bn in 2011, and this is expected to increase to USD 185bn by 2015. India has 600 million people in the age group 0 to 24 years, the largest globally. This significant population base, together with growing household income in India, is expected to spur tremendous growth in demand across a wide range of sectors including education services. Building closer alliances with businesses and educational establishments in India is a key priority for Ireland and Enterprise Ireland.”

The education mission to India will run from the 22nd to the 29th of November, 2012. 


For further information contact:

Deirdre Grant
Tel. 01 889 2417 or 086 0484 279

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

Paula Chase
Tel. 01 727 2842 or 087 997 4207
(for queries on other aspects of the mission)

Note to Editors:

The Irish Government’s strategy “Investing in Global Relationships” identified India as a priority market 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 India
  • encourage Irish HEI’s to develop collaborative relationships with Indian counterparts
  • double the number of Indian 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.