Minister O'Sullivan honours the contribution of International Student Ambassadors to Education in Ireland

Thursday April 23, 2015

Government of Ireland International Scholars Honoured

Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan T. D. is attending the Education in Ireland International Student Ambassador Awards Ceremony at Farmleigh today (Thursday 23 April, 2015).  This event honours the Student Ambassadors for their contribution in supporting the work of Education in Ireland in attracting international students to study in Ireland.  The ceremony will also honour the Higher Education Authority’s Government of Ireland Scholars on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.

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.  The programme, now in its fourth year, involves almost 50 international students from nine countries – the USA, India, Canada, China, Brazil, Chile, Singapore, Turkey and Malaysia - representing 23 higher education institutions across Ireland.  The Student Ambassador programme is a key part of Ireland’s promotional efforts to raise awareness of Ireland as a centre of international education.

Presenting the Student Ambassadors with Certificates of Recognition, Minister O’Sullivan, said: “I am delighted to be here today to personally thank our Student Ambassadors and to formally acknowledge their great efforts in promoting Ireland as an education destination through social media. They are an outstanding group of young people from around the world, and the role they are playing in building Ireland’s reputation as an education destination cannot be underestimated. I would also like to thank your Country Ambassadors, the university and college presidents and families who are here today to support their Student Ambassadors. Your ongoing commitment and support for the international Student Ambassador programme is crucial as we actively seek to develop educational links with other countries around the world”.

Giles O’Neill, 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, actively targets students from around the world and encourages them to study in Ireland.  The success of the Student Ambassador programme clearly demonstrates the power of social media as we seek to continuously interact with international students. Education in Ireland’s online presence continues to grow at an exceptional pace.  When we started this programme in January 2012 we had 42,000 interactions with the Education in Ireland brand. This has increased to over 1 million and we know that the Student Ambassadors’ activity on social media has had a lot to do with this”.

Gerry O’Sullivan, Head of International Education at the HEA said: “50 years ago in 1965, a report prepared by the international agency – the OECD - at the request of the Irish Government played a pivotal role in shaping subsequent higher education policy and provision.  A half a century later international influences continue to impact on the sector with students from almost 130 countries now attending higher education institutions in Ireland.  This is a wonderful opportunity to have a distinctively Irish impact on those who may be our future industrial, academic and political partners”.


For further information contact:

Sarah Miley,
Press Office,
Department of Education and Skills 

+353 1 8892322

Paula Chase
Press Officer
Enterprise Ireland

Paula Chase
+353 1 7272842

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 Brazil
  • 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.