Irish Colleges Aim to Boost Collaboration with US Higher Education Institutes

US Visit to Enhance Research Collaboration and Draw New Wave of American Students to Ireland

18th January 2010: Representatives from all seven Irish universities are this week traveling to New York and Washington, in a joint initiative coordinated by Enterprise Ireland, to boost collaboration between Irish and US institutes of higher learning.

The initiative is part of the Education Ireland (see note below) strategy to draw new waves of US students to Ireland for undergraduate and graduate studies and to broaden the network of research partnerships between higher learning institutions in both countries.

Outlining the initiative, Enterprise Ireland’s Manager of International Education Services Terry McParland said:

“Ireland’s universities and colleges have a long-standing and distinguished reputation in the US and already there are strong links between Ireland’s higher education providers and US partners such as Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University and other prestigious education institutions.

“Ireland’s third level institutions, with the support of the Irish Government are investing heavily in research in strategically important areas such as science, engineering, biotechnology and medical disciplines. It is hoped that increasing the collaboration between higher level institutions in Ireland and the US will foster new and greater synergies that will yield inventive research and breakthroughs.

“The initiative also aims to increase the flow of US students to pursue studies in Ireland’s higher education institutes. International education is already a high growth sector in Ireland as global demand for quality, overseas tertiary education continues to grow despite the economic downturn. This initiative aims to highlight the quality of third level education in Ireland and attract more American students to study in Ireland.”

Notes to Editor:
This initiative is being coordinated by Education Ireland. Education Ireland is dedicated to the development and promotion of Ireland as an international education centre of excellence. The Education Ireland brand is managed by Enterprise Ireland. For more see http://www.educationireland.ie.

The seven universities participating in this pilot visit include Dublin City University, National University of Ireland Galway, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College, Dublin and the University of Limerick.

The campaign will begin with two Irish education showcase events: one in Washington, hosted by Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States (US), HE Michael Collins, and the second in New York hosted by Consul General, HE Niall Burgess.

About Irish – US Education Collaboration

Irish colleges are allied with US counterparts in virtually every state, making the US Ireland’s top academic partner. For the US institutions, the relationships offer a unique portal to Europe, further expanding the reach of their entrepreneurial researchers. And in the connected classrooms and research labs, students are benefiting from a globalised education experience.

Partners of the Irish universities and colleges include: Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University, the National Institutes of Health, Purdue University, Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley and Yale University. Technology giants like Intel are also part of the ecosystem.

The number of international students studying in Ireland is growing annually with a substantial portion coming from the US. In 2007/08, more than 6800 US students selected Ireland for their Study Abroad experience—a 20 percent increase over the previous year. In addition, over 1000 full-time US students studied in Ireland almost 50 percent of whom are studying arts or humanities at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. For American students, Ireland is a relatively low cost destination. They also benefit from unprecedented access to the extensive European networks supported by the Erasmus exchange programme.

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