Ireland’s International Education Mark Planned as Government Opens New Strategy

As part of a new strategy, Ireland plans to increase its foreign student enrollment by 10%. Other initiatives include developing an exchange program with the UK, formally introducing the International Education Mark system for providers, and creating a new PhD scholarship program.

The Global Citizens 2023 – Ireland Talent and Innovation Strategy was unveiled today by Simon Harris, Minister of Research, Innovation, and Science, Further and Higher Education.

The strategy is constructed around six fundamental pillars, reinforced by seven flagship activities.

“A first choice destination for international learners, researchers, and innovators” is one of the pillars, along with “Thought leadership in talent, innovation, and science policy” and “Talent and Innovation at the heart of Ireland’s global footprint; global citizens in multi-national, multi-cultural workforces.”

The government stated that the long-awaited International Education Mark, a new legislative quality standard for higher education and English language providers, will premiere in the first quarter of this year as part of the pillar with an international education focus.

Additionally, the government will establish precise goals for recruiting foreign students to higher education. Acknowledging capacity constraints, it stated that the intended increase would be “moderate,” at about 10%. In 2023/23, there were 35,140 international students registered at higher education institutions.

“Future growth will be balanced across discipline areas, programme levels, delivery modes, regions and through diversification of target countries,” claimed the government.

In addition, initiatives to monitor and improve the student experience will be implemented. Metrics to assess the impact of international students beyond their numerical value will be developed, and online education opportunities and technology university investments will be investigated.

Plans such as “Innovate for Ireland,” which the Department described as “an ambitious partnership between industry and government which will attract hundreds of high-calibre PhD students to undertake research and innovation in Ireland,” are included in other sections of the strategy.

The creation of six “Ireland House” locations, overseen by Talent and Innovation Attaches, is one of the additional initiatives. These venues encourage innovation events, university activity, and student recruiting.

By the end of the next year, a new program for academic personnel, researchers, and students to move between Ireland and the UK will be devised.

According to the government, Ireland will also utilize its 2026 chairmanship of the European Union to design the upcoming Erasmus+ mobility program.

“I hope this strategy sends a clear message of Ireland’s commitment to continue to be a global, diverse society and, for some, a beacon of hope and educational opportunity,” Minister Harris stated at a time when many nations are starting to look inward.

“Our goal is to draw to Ireland the brightest generation of foreign scholars, researchers, and innovators.”Not only does that boost our economy greatly, but it also benefits our society. By expanding our educational community, it not only helps us meet our skill demands but also creates opportunities,” he stated.

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