Education mission to China – new Sino-Irish collaborations announced
27th October 2015
The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan T.D. announced the signing of sixteen new MOUs (Memorandums of Understanding) between Irish higher education institutions and top Chinese universities at the weekend. The MOUs aim to increase collaboration at undergraduate and postgraduate level and develop new research partnerships.
Speaking on her return from Beijing, Minister O’Sullivan said: “China is one of six priority markets in our international education strategy. Our higher education institutions have worked hard on developing new strategic partnerships here, which will increase mobility of staff and students in both directions and enhance capability in research and innovation. We have seen a 34% increase in the number of Chinese students applying for student visas over the last 12 months, which is clear evidence of the impact of these partnerships”.
The Minister was leading an Enterprise Ireland education mission to China which coincided with the China Education Expo (CEE), a series of education fairs held across several cities. Enterprise Ireland, under the brand of ‘Education in Ireland’, hosted a national pavilion in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu to strengthen Ireland’s presence in China and to support Irish higher education institutions active there. Seventeen Irish higher education institutions* participated as part of the Irish pavilion, which is the biggest to date organised by Enterprise Ireland in China.
Leo McAdams, Divisional Manager of Internationally Traded Services, ICT and Education in Enterprise Ireland, who accompanied Minister O’Sullivan on the education mission, added: “Having a strong national presence at the CEE is an important way to showcase the capabilities of the Irish education sector and develop new partnerships.Under the Education in Ireland brand, we have just launched the Claddagh Scholarship Programme, which brings together almost200 scholarships from our higher education institutions, specifically aimed at Chinese students. The scholarships are across a wide range of fields including engineering, business, computing and social sciences, from undergraduate to Phd level”.
The annual CEE fairs are the biggest in China and a significant number of students, parents and education institutions visit the fairs. Significantly, Ireland has been designated the role of ‘Country of Honour’ for the CEE event next year, in Oct 2016.
*Athlone Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin City University, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, ICD Business School, IT Carlow, Limerick Institute of Technology, Maynooth University, National College of Ireland, National University of Ireland, Galway, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin, University of Limerick, Waterford Institute of Technology