An education and research agreement that will see 4,000 Brazilian undergraduates study in Ireland over the next four years was signed today during Enterprise Ireland’s trade mission to Brazil.
The agreement is part of Brazil’s Science Without Borders programme – a government scholarship programme that aims to send 100,000 of the country’s students on undergraduate and PhD courses to study in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and creative industries at top universities around the world.
It builds on a previous agreement between Ireland and Brazil announced in June this year for up to 1,500 post-graduate Brazilian students to study in Ireland.
“The agreement marks the start of a new and significant relationship between Brazilian higher education institutes and their Irish counterparts,” said Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello. “This is a significant boost for the third international level education sector in Ireland. Ireland currently hosts just 100 third-level Brazilian students per year, so this will be a truly substantial increase.”
Marina Donohoe, head of education at Enterprise Ireland, said that in the context of Ireland’s strategy for internationalising Irish higher education, the agreement would help to drive collaboration and growth in research, academic and student exchange between Ireland and Brazil.
“Ireland’s involvement in Science Without Borders at post-graduate and now under-graduate level puts in place the mechanism and funding for an additional 1,400 students per annum,” she said.
“There are currently less than ten institutional links between Brazilian and Irish institutions. Under the Science Without Borders scholarship programme, this is expected to rise to over 100 by 2015.”
She said that the Ireland’s inclusion in the Science Without Borders programme has the potential to deliver €15m in fee income and a further €19m in additional spend in the Irish economy.
In support of the initiative, Education in Ireland has officially launched an online portal for Brazilian academics and students. The portal will enable scholars and students to search for higher education courses in Ireland, learn more about living and studying in Ireland, and avail of practical advice on how to apply to relevant universities, colleges and institutes of technology in Portuguese.
The agreement was secured in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills with support from Science Foundation Ireland, the institutes of technology Ireland and the Irish Universities Association.
Education in Ireland is the Government initiative to market Irish third level education to overseas students. The effort is led by Enterprise Ireland and aims to double the number of international students studying in Irish colleges by 2015. The programme seeks to highlight the strengths of Ireland’s education offering in the major target markets including China, India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and the USA.