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Government of Ireland – International Education Scholarships 2020

Government of Ireland International Education Scholarships Programme Call 2020

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is pleased to issue the 2020 Call under the Government of Ireland International Education Scholarships Programme.  Under the initiative 60 scholarships will be provided for one year study at Bachelor, Master or PhD levels to successful candidates who have an offer of a place at an eligible Irish higher education institution.

The offer is open to students from non-EU/EEA countries and is applicable to all fields of study.

Students who are successful will receive:

  • A €10,000 stipend for one year’s study
  • A full fee waiver of all tuition and other registration costs at the higher education institution

Background & Objectives


The internationalisation of Irish higher education is a key element in the delivery of a quality teaching, learning and research experience for students and staff and for building international engagement for the sector. The Government of Ireland – International Education Scholarship (GOI-IES) scheme was established under the provisions of the Government’s International Education Strategy, 2010–2015 and expanded under the successor strategy “Irish Educated, Globally Connected (20162020). Attention is also drawn to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Global Ireland: Delivering in the Asia Pacific Region to 2025 strategy.


The aim of the 2020 GOI-IES scheme is to reflect Ireland’s engagement in target partner countries. The scheme is operated in the higher education sector and funded in partnership between the Government and the higher education institutions (HEIs). Scholarships will be branded as prestigious awards reflecting the core messages about Ireland as a centre of international education. It is expected that for every scholarship winner, awareness of Ireland will be raised among many more potential students.


Benefits for students: Scholarships must be regarded as highly desirable and valueadding to individuals’ subsequent lives and careers. In view of this, the GOI-IES will be awarded:

  • to high calibre higher education students from non-EU/EEA countries;
  • to study in Ireland for a period of one year


Benefits for Higher Education sector: GOI-IES will reflect Ireland’s commitment to excellence in the provision of higher education for both domestic and international students:

  • • for scholarships that will highlight Ireland’s strengths as a centre of international education;
  • • to promote links with target markets globally;
  • • to strengthen the internationalisation strategies of HEIs especially in the context of the system performance framework.

Details of Scholarship Scheme


The scheme is managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills. Following a competitive process based on an annual call for proposals from individual applicants, the HEA will approve a defined number of scholarships under the scheme to successful applicants.


Government of Ireland International Education Scholarships will be awarded to high calibre students from non-EU/EEA countries to study full-time in Ireland for a period of one year. The following are the terms and conditions that will apply:


➢ The HEA will award a scholarship fund to the student (through the HEI that the student is attending) amounting to €10,000 for one study year. This fund is directed at covering student costs and living expenses. The scholarship may be for:

  • the final year of an undergraduate programme;
  • one year of a taught master’s degree programme or;
  • one year of a research programme (i.e. one year of a 2-year research masters or a 3-4-year PhD programme).


➢ The scholarship stipend will be transferred to the host higher education institution (HEI) of the successful student and forwarded by that HEI to the scholar in two payments of €5,000.


➢ The HEI will be required to give a FULL fee waiver to the student for the scholarship year (i.e. tuition fee and registration charge are waived). This is the minimum matching funding requirement that institutions will be required to make to the scholarship scheme.

➢ It is expected that a total of 60 scholarships will be funded by the Government of Ireland International Education Scholarships for the academic year 2020/2021.

➢ Applicants must have a domiciliary of origin1 not equal to the EU/EEA or Switzerland

➢ Scholarships may be approved for study across all disciplines, subject to the availability of places.

The HEA will seek to ensure that, overall, there is gender-balance in the cohort of students to whom scholarships are awarded.

➢ Due to the very large number of applications it will not be possible to give feedback to unsuccessful candidates.

➢ Applications are welcome from under-represented cohorts.

➢ Successful Scholars are to commence studies in September/October 2020. Later enrolments will only be considered in relation to PhD awardees.

➢ Students and their host HEIs may be required to attend a welcoming event for GOI-IES awardees around this time. An official awarding event for GOIIES Scholars will be held in April 2021.

The scheme prioritises the selection of students who are in the process of applying to come to Ireland for the academic year 2020-2021.

Candidate profile

➢ Possess excellence (academically, personally, professionally, creatively); ➢ Excellent communication skills; ➢ Extra curriculum activities (for example: humanitarian work; politics- local, national, international; arts; sports); ➢ Possess strong rationale for pursuing their study in Ireland that indicates how a GOI-IES fits into their longer-term goals.

Eligible Irish Higher Education Institutions

Applicants will need to apply for admission to a relevant Bachelor, Master or PhD programme offered by an eligible Higher Education Institution (see Appendix 1) as per that HEI’s admission procedures. Applicants are expected to have a conditional or final offer of admission to the HEI at the time of application and will be required to submit a copy of same. Should an applicant be in receipt of more than one offer, separate applications may be submitted for each course offer. Final offers will be subject to admission to the relevant HEI. Applicants should make enquiries directly to the relevant institution prior to submission of an application to the HEA. 4

Evaluation Criteria

Eligible students are invited to submit applications to the HEA via the official online application process at this link. A marking system (total 100 marks) is part of the call with the relevant scores shown in brackets after the key selection criteria.
The applications must cover the following, as requested in the online application tool:

  • • Academic qualifications, achievements and/or work experience (40 marks)
  • • Personal Statement (refer to the Candidate profile). Applicants will be required to demonstrate:
  1. the benefit of becoming a GOI-IES Scholar; to themselves (personally and professionally), to Ireland, as well as their country of origin. (15 marks); o how they will extend themselves beyond their project/studies to become actively involved in Irish society in order to maximize their academic/cultural exchange experience and to raise awareness of the GOI-IES scheme in Ireland and beyond (15 marks);
  2. the extent to which they have a long-term interest in Ireland and how they will promote links with Ireland during their time as Scholars and also after as Alumni (15 marks).
  • • Two references uploaded via the online application portal (please note that the HEA is not able to accept references submitted via email or other sources outside of the online application portal) (15 marks)

Assessment Process

  • • The HEA will establish an independent International Assessment Panel to evaluate the applications received. The Assessment Panel will consider the extent to which the applications meet the criteria of the 2020 Call as outlined above.
  • • All applications will be assessed solely on the basis of the material provided to the HEA at the time of submission.
  • • The HEA will give priority in awarding this scholarship to those students who are not in receipt of alternative scholarships or other funding support
  • • Applications will be first reviewed by the HEA for eligibility. The HEA will then share details of the applications with the relevant HEI from which the scholarship applicant has a conditional or final offer(s) of a place. The HEI will 5
    provide the HEA with feedback in regard to its institutional international strategic objectives2 for
  1. • country of origin of applicants;
  2. • proposed study cycle (Bachelor, Master, PhD) of applicants;
  3. • field of study of applicants;
  4. • Institutional capacity

• Applications will then be sent for remote evaluation to the Assessment Panel members. Each application will be assessed by at least two remote independent members of the Assessment Panel.

• The Assessment Panel members will allocate scores as per the evaluation criteria detailed above. Applicants are advised to familiarise themselves fully with the evaluation criteria prior to making an application to the scheme.

• Each Assessment Panel member will submit their independent evaluation prior to coming together to discuss the ranked list of applications. The Assessment Panel will then arrive at an overall judgement of standard and make final recommendations to the HEA. An independent audit processor will be present at the Assessment Panel meeting.

• The top twelve ranked applications will be automatically funded on the basis of excellence, as they represent the top 20% of the 60 awards to be funded.

• In addition to the ranked position of the applications, the remaining 48 awards will be allocated with consideration to:

• Institutional (university, technological university, institute of technology etc.), field of study, level of study and geographical spread;

• potential social/development benefit that might accrue to the country of origin in areas like education, social work, health promotion, and infrastructural development;

• the under-representation of women and men in certain disciplines in which they are traditionally under-represented.

• Only applications that meet a minimum threshold can be considered for the awarding of a scholarship (60 of 100 marks).

• The HEA’s decision on whether to award a scholarship under this scheme is final.
2 Please contact the relevant HEI for information relating to its international education strategy 6

• Each HEI that has been named in a successful application will be contacted to confirm that they are in a position to provide the required matching funding. Confirmation of this by the HEI constitutes its agreement to, and acceptance of, the Call for Application’s terms. HEIs are encouraged to examine the possibility of philanthropic contributions to support the scholarships; or the possibility to re-brand existing institutional scholarships in order to augment the total number of awards available.

Reporting Requirements Post Assessment

Successful Scholars (and HEIs) will be required to meet HEA reporting requirements and will be required to participate in a small number of scholarship events (e.g. HEA formal awarding of scholarships / welcome event, national promotion activities). The HEA also reserves the right to conduct audits/evaluations to ensure that the highest levels of student care are provided to incoming students. The HEA will advise on all reporting requirements in due course.

Submission of Applications

  1. The Call for Applications will issue 10 February 2020 and the centralised application system – link. is now live and accepting applications.
  2. The closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm on Friday 27 March 2020 (Irish Time). Late applications will not be accepted.
  3. The application should be submitted via this link.
  4. Any questions regarding the call for applications should be submitted to [email protected] no later than 27 March 2020. Telephone queries cannot be accommodated.
  5. The HEA will advise the applicants and the HEIs of the outcome of the evaluation process by 1 June 2020.

Official Link | Apply

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