Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Department of Education and Skills
Third Level Courses
Question 77: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he has had any contact with the Iranian Government's education department, or if his attention has been drawn to any contact between third level institutions here and universities in Iran in respect of the possibility of developing third level courses to meet the growing demand of Iranian students to study in Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7154/12]
I have had contacts with Ministerial and official-level delegations from a range of countries which send students to Ireland, including Iran, which Enterprise Ireland records as sending around 80 students to Ireland each year.
I am also aware that there are ongoing contacts between a number of Irish higher education institutions and their counterparts in Iran.
Question 78: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he has had any engagement with the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Justice and Equality on the matter of student entry visas; if he appreciates the volume of students that could be attracted to undertake higher level programmes here if the visa system was less impenetrable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7157/12]
While student immigration is primarily a matter for the Minister for Justice and Equality, the Government has a co-ordinated policy and approach to improving Ireland's competitiveness as a centre for international education, through implementation of the international education strategy 2010-2015 and the new student immigration regime.
My Department is in constant contact with both the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Justice and Equality in this regard. Officials from both Departments were represented on the group which developed the international education strategy 2010-2015. My Department was represented on the committee which developed the revised student immigration regime, which is supportive of high-quality operators.
Both Departments are also represented on the high level group on international education, which is chaired by my Department and which brings together representatives from the relevant Government Departments, State agencies and the education sector in order to implement co-ordinated national approaches to internationalisation.
End of Take