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Bruton announces moves to increase Ireland’s share of 100,000 Indian students for international education sector

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD today [Monday] launched a new trusted agents programme to promote Irish higher-level education in India. This programme is aimed at increasing Ireland’s share of the more than 100,000 Indian students who travel overseas for education each year. The announcement was made at a workshop involving 11 Irish third level institutions and 25 Indian education agents in New Delhi this morning.

‘The international education sector is currently worth approximately €900million to the Irish economy, and it is estimated that every 100 international students who come to Ireland creates 15 local jobs. The Government has identified this sector as a crucial part of our jobs and growth strategy, and we are determined to double the number of international students in Ireland by 2016.

More than 100,000 Indian students travel overseas for education every year. Around 1,000 of these currently come to Ireland. This morning’s initiative is part of an ambitious strategy by this government to achieve a significant increase in that number, thus making a major contribution to achieving growth in employment and in the economy generally.

As well as the direct contribution they make to the economy through tuition fees, accommodation and other expenditure, Indian students also enrich our campuses and our cities in many ways and are a crucial means of deepening the links between Ireland and India.

The programme will be supported with a marketing and communications fund of 4 million rupees (€63,000) funded equally by Enterprise Ireland, the Department of Education & Skills and the Irish higher education sector.

The Minister made the announcement during a workshop for Indian education agents which took place as part of the Enterprise Ireland trade and education mission to India and Saudi Arabia. The workshop also provided an update on changes to the Irish visa system for international students.

On the first full day of the trade mission to India and Saudi Arabia, Minister Bruton’s schedule also included the following items: breakfast with Daon, one of Ireland’s leading technology companies which has significant presence in India; meeting with EMPGI-S Chand, joint venture between Indian and Irish company in e-learning; lunch meeting with HKR Architects. One of Ireland’s leading architectural firms, which now has interests in India; meeting with Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry, Mr Anand Sharma; evening trade reception in the Ambassador’s residence in New Delhi, attended by 60-80 guests made up of Irish companies with interests in India, their customers and partners as well as guests from the Indian business community.

Ireland’s relationship with education agents is critical in communicating the benefits of Ireland as a quality education destination to discerning Indian students. The objective of the new programme is to move Ireland up the agenda of education agents in India and make it easier for them to recommend Ireland as a quality education destination to the students the counsel.