Increase in numbers of Saudi Arabian students choosing Ireland for their 3rd level education
There are currently over 1500 Saudi Arabian students in Ireland studying and preparing for higher education under the King Abdullah Scholarship Programme. With their accompanying family members that number grows to over 3600. This represents a dramatic increase over the last 3 years from a couple of hundred students in 2009. According to UNESCO the King Abdullah Scholarship Scheme has over 400,000 students studying worldwide and the number coming to study in Ireland is expected to grow under the scholarship scheme.
Ireland’s seven universities hosted an information day for new Saudi Arabian at the Royal College of Physicians on Monday 27th May 2013. The event was opened by Saudi Arabia’s new Cultural Attaché to Ireland Dr Khalid Al Eisa who is currently in the process of opening an office in Dublin.
Commenting on the popularity of Ireland as a study destination for Saudi Students Dr Al Eisa said, “Saudi Arabia is looking for a quality education for its students and we believe that Ireland has one of the best education systems in the world. We feel that investment in education is an important issue for our country, particularly in areas where we have a skills shortage; medicine, engineering and ICT.”
The education fair organised by the Irish Universities Association on behalf of the seven universities was attended by more than 150 students currently preparing to embark on university undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Students, who are currently in English language schools in Ireland, were given one to one advice on university course offerings and options.