Written answers

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Departmental Programmes

Photo of Jennifer Carroll MacNeillJennifer Carroll MacNeill (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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66. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the position regarding the continued success of the Irish Fellows Programme which provides educational opportunities in Ireland for persons from developing countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56487/21]

Photo of Colm BrophyColm Brophy (Dublin South West, Fine Gael)
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The Ireland Fellows Programme brings promising mid-career professionals from partner countries to study for a master’s-level qualification at a University or Institute of Technology in Ireland.

The programme is run by the Development Cooperation and Africa Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs, which manages and implements the Irish Aid international development programme. Its day-to-day management is undertaken by the Irish Council for International Students.

The programme has operated since 1974, bringing students from African partner countries and, since 2009, from Vietnam. Following a decision to expand the programme in 2019-20, it was enlarged to include students from the occupied Palestinian Territories, and in 2020-2021, from Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

The objective of the Ireland Fellows Programme is to help to build a cohort of people with the potential to become leaders in their home country and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Courses within the programme are aligned with Ireland’s policy for International Development, A Better World. The Fellowship award covers course fees, accommodation, living costs, and flights. The programme promotes gender equality, equal opportunities, and welcomes diversity and alumni are encouraged to stay connected with Ireland, and with each other, after returning home.

There are presently 158 Fellows in Ireland, studying at 18 Higher Education Institutions. The 2021 Fellows are from African partner countries, the occupied Palestinian territory, Vietnam, Laos, and Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean, Pacific, Africa and Asia.

The process of selecting Fellows for the 2022-23 academic year is underway and is expected to conclude in June 2022.

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