The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is pleased to issue the 2021 Call under the Government of Ireland International Education Scholarships Programme. Under the initiative 60 scholarships will be provided for one year study at Bachelor, Masters 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

Applications can be submitted via the online portal here.

The deadline for the submission of applications is 5pm (Irish Time) 26 March 2021

Enquiries only by email –

  1. 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 (2016- 2020). 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 2021 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 value adding 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.
  2. Details of Scholarship Scheme
    The scheme is managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. 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 in two payments of €5,000. The HEI will then put in place a system to transfer the funds to the scholarship awardee.
    ➢ 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 2021/2022.
    ➢ Applicants must have a domiciliary of origin1 not equal to the EU/EEA,
    United Kingdom or Switzerland. Please refer to our FAQ for a further
    explanation regarding domiciliary of origin.
    1 Domiciliary of Origin is the applicant’s country of legal and permanent residency prior to entry to the deadline of this call. It is not the same as their nationality and does not alter as they progress through their academic career. For example, an Indian person that comes to Ireland 2 weeks prior to commencing a higher education course will be coded as Indian for the duration of their studies. Whilst their nationality is Indian and their correspondence address is in Ireland, their country of legal and
    permanent residence is still India.
    ➢ 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 2021.
    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 2022.
  3. The scheme prioritises the selection of students who are in the process of
    applying to come to Ireland for the academic year 2021-2022.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
    • Personal Statement (refer to the Candidate profile). Applicants will be required to demonstrate:
    o 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);
    o 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)
  7. 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 2021 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 provide the HEA with feedback in relation to the awarding of the scholarships and its alignment in regards to its institutional international strategic objectives for
    • country of origin of applicants;
    • proposed study cycle (Bachelor, Master, PhD) of applicants;
    • field of study of applicants;
    • Institutional capacity
    • Applications will then be sent for independent remote evaluation to the Assessment Panel members.
    • 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.
    • The Assessment Panel will submit their independent evaluations 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.
    2 Please contact the relevant HEI for information relating to its international education strategy
    • 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.
    • 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Submission of Applications
    (1) The Call for Applications will issue 8 February 2021 and the centralised application system (link) is now live and accepting applications.
    (2) The closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm on Friday 26 March 2021 (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 no later than 26 March 2021. 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 2021 at the earliest.

    Appendix 1
    Eligible Institutions for Call for Applications 2021
    Scholarships will only be approved for programmes that lead to a higher education award that is included in the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) at Levels 8 to 10, which is made by one of the following awarding bodies:
    • Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)
    • Technological Universities and Institutes of Technology with delegated authority to make awards
    • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
    • Irish Universities
    The following is a list of all institutions eligible under the GOI-IES 2021 programme:
    • Athlone Institute of Technology
    • College of Computing Technology , Dublin
    • Dublin Business School
    • Dublin City University
    • Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology
    • Dundalk Institute of Technology
    • Galway Business School
    • Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
    • Griffith College , Dublin
    • ICD Business School , Dublin
    • Independent College , Dublin
    • Institute of Technology, Carlow
    • Institute of Technology, Sligo
    • Letterkenny Institute of Technology
    • Limerick Institute of Technology
    • Mary Immaculate College , Limerick
    • Maynooth University
    • Munster Technological University
    • National College of Art and Design , Dublin
    • National College of Ireland , Dublin
    • National University of Ireland, Galway
    • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
    • Technological University Dublin
    • Trinity College Dublin
    • University College Cork
    • University College Dublin
    • University of Limerick
    • Waterford Institute of Technology

    Appendix 2
    Important Information
    The HEA is making this document available to applicants submitting an application under the Government of Ireland International Education Scholarship Programme 2021 Call for Applications. The document must not be used for any other purpose The HEA has taken all reasonable care to ensure that the material set out in this Call for Applications is true and accurate in all material respects as at the time of publication. However, no warranty or representation is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this material. The HEA does not accept any liability or responsibility for the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of the information set out herein.
    The HEA will not be liable or responsible for any opinion, statement, or conclusion contained in, or any omission from this document or for any other written or oral communication made available during the course of the Call process. No representation or warranty is made in respect of such statements, opinions or conclusions.
    The HEA reserves the right to amend these documents and any information contained herein at any time by notice published on the online application portal.
    None of the information set out herein will constitute an agreement, or part of an agreement, or an offer to enter an agreement, between the HEA and any HEI. Nothing in these documents is, nor shall be relied upon as, a promise or representation as to the HEA’s ultimate decision in relation to the approval of scholarships.
    The HEA reserves the right to take such steps as it considers appropriate, including but not limited to: changing the basis of, or the procedures (including the timetable) relating to the Call process; rejecting any, or all, of the proposals; abandoning the competition (or any part of it) at any time prior to the formal approval of scholarships.
    No legal relationship or other obligation shall arise between any HEI and the HEA until a scholarship approval has been made by the HEA and accepted by the HEI.
    Under no circumstances will the HEA be liable for any costs, charges or expenses incurred by applicants as a result of participating in this Call process, however caused.
    Any costs associated with the submission of a proposal are the sole responsibility of the candidate and will not be reimbursed.
    Payment of the scholarship fund is wholly subject to the continued receipt of funding
    by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. In the event of such funding being reduced or discontinued neither the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science nor the Higher Education Authority will be under any liability to provide funding or to compensate a scholar for any reduction or cessation of funding.

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