Taoiseach and Minister Quinn honour the contribution of the Student Ambassadors to Education in Ireland

11th April 2014

Government of Ireland International Scholars Honoured

Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. today (Friday 11 April 2014) is attending the Education in Ireland International Student Ambassador Awards Ceremony taking place at Farmleigh.  This event honours the Student Ambassadors for their contribution in supporting the work of Enterprise Ireland in attracting international students to study in this country.  The Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn T.D. was also present and presented the Student Ambassadors with Certificates of Recognition.  Also honoured at this ceremony were the HEA Government of Ireland Scholars, on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.

Education in Ireland

The Student Ambassador programme, managed by Education in Ireland, is aimed at attracting top students from priority markets to study in Ireland and is part of a Government led International Scholarship Scheme.  This programme is only in its third year and has already more than doubled its size.  This year the programme included almost 50 international students from ten countries including USA, India, Canada, China, Brazil, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia representing 23 higher education institutions across Ireland.  This programme is another key part of Ireland’s promotional efforts to raise awareness of Ireland as a centre of international education.

Speaking at the event An Taoiseach Mr. Enda Kenny T.D. said:  "I would like to commend the success of the Student Ambassador Programme and the valuable work of promoting Ireland to international students, the importance of which has been recognised by the Government's Action Plan for Jobs.   I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the university and college presidents who are here today but, most of all, to thank the outstanding group of young people from around the world who are playing a crucial role in developing cultural and diplomatic links with other countries and building Ireland's reputation as an education destination”.

Presenting the Student Ambassadors with Certificates, Minister Quinn, said:

‘I want to thank the Education in Ireland Student Ambassadors for their great effort in promoting Ireland through social media.  Education in Ireland’s online presence is significant and growing at an exceptional pace.  In January 2012 we had 42,000 interactions with the Education in Ireland brand, as of April 2014 this has increased to over 1 million and we know that your activity on social media has had a lot to do with this’.

Marina Donohoe, Head of Education at Enterprise Ireland which manages the International Student Ambassador programme added: ‘Education in Ireland, the umbrella brand for promoting Irish higher education institutions in international markets, is actively targeting students from around the world and encouraging them to study in Ireland.  The power of social media cannot be underestimated as we seek to interact with international students’.

John Hennessy, Chair of the HEA said: ‘The Government of Ireland Scholarship programme is not only about enabling high calibre students to study and engage in research in this country.  Crucially it is about working with the leaders of the future in key regions of the world at a very important stage in their career development – young people who will be to the fore in industry, academia and government in their homelands in the not too distant future’.


For further information contact:

Department of Education and Skills:  Deirdre Grant, Director of Communications – 01-8892417, deirdre_grant@education.gov.ie

or The Press Office at Enterprise Ireland

Notes to the Editor:

  • Enterprise Ireland estimates that the international student sector is worth over €1 billion a year to the Irish economy.    
  • The Student Ambassador programme, managed by Enterprise Ireland, is another key part of Ireland’s promotional efforts to raise awareness of Ireland as a centre for international education.  The Student Ambassadors use social media to provide blogs, videos, tweets, podcasts and articles to their international peers, prospective students and families about student life in Ireland.  The students represent a range of countries including the United States, China, India, Canada and Kuwait.
  • The Government of Ireland International Scholarship Programme was proposed in the Programme for Government as a way to develop “cultural and diplomatic links with emerging markets” and to promote Ireland as a destination for international students.  The scholarship programme is managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.