A very warm welcome to the Education in Ireland website and, in particular, to the Claddagh Scholarship Programme section.
There has always been a warm friendship as well as close relationship between Ireland and China. With each year this relationship deepens and now includes areas such as political relations, trade and investment, culture, tourism, and food. Our two peoples and their leaders easily get on well together.
We have seen, over recent years, increasing numbers of Chinese students choosing to study in Ireland. These students and their families recognise our long tradition of education excellence, especially in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Business and the Humanities. They are also attracted by the friendly, safe and English-speaking environment that Ireland offers. And, of course, Irish Education is good value.
In 2015, Education in Ireland, launched the first national level scholarship programme in Ireland designed exclusively for Chinese students. The programme includes over 250 scholarships from 16 different Irish education institutes at every level, across over one hundred different fields of study. As such, there is a programme and scholarship to suit nearly every student.
This programme is designed not only to strengthen friendship and educational bond between Ireland and China but also to recognise the outstanding calibre of students being produced by the two countries: Together we can prepare graduates to fully meet the challenges and reap the opportunities of the 21st Century.
Ireland and its leading high technology-based economy will continue to offer Chinese students a world class education as well as research opportunities. Ireland also offers Chinese students the opportunity to build a personal relationship with leading international corporations, of which there are some 1,200 based in Ireland. Chinese graduates of Irish universities and colleges may apply for a two-year work permit so that they can acquire full-time work experience in Ireland. All this in an English-speaking country that is a member of both the EU and the Eurozone single currency area.
Ireland has the youngest and the fastest growing population in Europe and our statistics on participation in third level education are also the strongest in the EU. The time has never been better. The opportunity has never been clearer. Chinese students are welcome to study in Ireland. And they can benefit from a scholarship to do so.
We look forward to sharing more information with you about the scholarships and to welcoming you to Ireland with our famous Irish welcome.
Finally, let me take this opportunity to wish you every success with your studies and careers.
Ambassador of Ireland to China