News
Oct 2, 2017

Bruton Launches New International Fund for Irish Universities

The fund will see €500,000 being made available to institutions wishing to promote international collaboration.

Kathleen McNameeNews Editor
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Mary Mitchell O'Connor and Richard Bruton at the launch of the National Student Accommodation Strategy.
Ivan Rakhmanin for The University Times

The government will give Irish universities €500,000 to promote collaboration with universities from around the world.

A new fund, set to be managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), will make the funding available to colleges across the country.

The International Academic Mobility Programme will see €500,000 made available to Irish higher education institutions to promote collaboration with global institutions in high potential markets.

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The new fund was launched today by Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, and Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor. It will be managed by the HEA and will give an estimated 100 to 150 academics the opportunity to travel and collaborate with foreign institutions.

The programme will allow for a range of opportunities for academics and others involved in third-level activities. Academics can spend time working in global institutions on joint projects with experts in similar fields. Other activities that fall under the remit of the fund include developing new student exchange programmes and providing for the development and testing of new methods of teaching, supporting students and developing curricula.

In a press statement, Bruton said that the programme will “support more strategic collaboration between Irish universities and our global partners”. He said that with Irish institutions having to grapple with issues such as Brexit, increased international collaboration is “key to the success of our higher education sector”.

Speaking in a press statement, Mitchell O’Connor said that the programme also “further supports Ireland’s higher education sector as it prepares for the challenges and opportunities of Brexit”.

Institutions who are able to access the money include public, private or not-for-profit higher education providers who already have access to the Education in Ireland brand. This includes the seven Irish universities, Institutes of Technology with delegated authority or full statutory authority to make awards, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Quality and Qualifications Ireland.

People from teaching, technical, management and administrative areas who work in these eligible institutions will be able to apply for money from the programme. It is hoped that successful proposals will be implemented between December 2017 and December 2018.

Institutions that wish to apply for the fund will be marked by a panel established by the HEA which will include independent outside expertise. Proposals will be marked on relevance, innovation, quality of the mobility arrangements, quality of the activity design and implementation, impact and sustainability. All applicants must also comply with the general principles of the government’s International Education Strategy.

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