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MENAFN - Arab News - 21/03/2012

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(MENAFN - Arab News) Ten Irish universities and technical institutes have confirmed their participation in the international education conference and exhibition to be held on April 17-20 at the Riyadh International Exhibition Center under the auspices of the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education.

"We at the mission are indeed happy over the participation of these universities because they will have the opportunity to showcase the high quality of education which Ireland provides to students," Irish Ambassador Niall Holohan told Arab News yesterday.

These universities include the Trinity College of Dublin, University of Limerick, Dublin Institute of Technology, Carlow Institute of Technology, University of Dublin College, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Athlone Institute of Technology, Waterford Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology and Dublin City University.

Holohan added that with the participation of the Irish universities and technical institutes, he expects more Saudis to go to Ireland to study.

At present, there are more than 1,000 Saudis studying under the King Abdullah Scholarship Program and over 500 others in their private capacity in Ireland.

"There are also a couple of hundred students from the Technical and Vocational Training Institutes (TVTC) of the Kingdom," he added.

Holohan also said students under the scholarship program are taking up medicine, engineering and science while those studying on their own are taking up English courses.

"So far, we're receiving good feedback both from the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education as well as the Saudi students themselves regarding their education in Ireland," he said.

Justin Ryan, deputy head of mission at the embassy, added Ireland's worldwide reputation for high quality education is built on the solid foundation of commitment to excellence.

Ryan had earlier posted at the Irish Embassy as second secretary in August 2004.

He said Ireland does not have many natural resources, so it relies on high quality education as its engine of growth. As a result, Irish nationals are doing well not only in local firms but also abroad.

"In Saudi Arabia, Almarai has employed Irish managers and technical experts," he said, adding that because of its established reputation in providing quality education, even students from Canada and the United Kingdom go to Ireland to study in its seven universities and 13 institutes of technology.

He added there are many factors why Ireland is an attractive center of learning for Saudi nationals.

"We are an English speaking country and have close cultural, economic and educational links with the English-speaking world, especially with the United Kingdom - our next door neighbor - and the United States," he said.

He added that Irish qualifications are recognized worldwide. Students can choose from an extensive range of courses to meet their needs in highly respected business schools, centers of scientific and technology excellence as well as renowned language, humanities and art faculties.


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