New deal to send Saudi students to Irish colleges

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe TD, announced fresh agreements between the Irish and Saudi Arabian governments to train Saudi students in vocational skills in three Irish colleges.

The move will allow several hundred Saudi students to study in Carlow Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology and Blanchardstown Institute of Technology in Dublin. The students will travel to the Irish colleges under Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Scholarship Programme.

Minister O’Keeffe announced the new agreements after a meeting with the Governor of Saudi Arabia’s Technical Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), Dr Ali Nasser Al Ghafis, in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Minister O’Keeffe is leading an Enterprise Ireland trade mission to the Middle East this week with 45 Irish firms aimed at developing their exports reach and international education links.

Announcing the agreements with the TVTC, Minister O’Keeffe said they would ‘build on our strong relationship with Saudi Arabia which considers Ireland among a small number of strategic partners in education’.

Athlone Institute of Technology, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and Waterford Institute of Technology already have working arrangements with the Saudi authorities for vocational training and education. Between them, they have 150 Saudi students studying degree programmes across a range of areas including construction, engineering, software and financial services. About 800 Saudis are currently studying in Ireland .

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