Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Questions (85)

Thomas Byrne


85. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will report on his recent visit and engagements in the UAE. [26967/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

This question relates to my recent Education Trade Mission to the UAE.

While in the UAE, I engaged with 450 Irish teachers at two meetings in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. These meetings gave me the opportunity to hear the challenges facing these teachers and also gave them a chance to offer practical solutions to some issues.

The meetings allowed me in my role as Minister, to meet with these teachers and discuss first hand with them the challenges they face in returning to Ireland, and to consider ways that we can work together, to support them, when and if they decide to return to work in Ireland.

To facilitate this, teachers volunteered to form a group to liaise on the identified issues with the embassy and my Department. Arrangements are being made for the first meeting of this group in the autumn.

During my visit I also had a number of productive meetings which will further develop and enhance the cooperation that presently exists between Ireland and the UAE in the Higher Education area.

The Irish education system plays a key role in forging crucial global relationships and building international outlook and awareness. One of the core ambitions of my Government’s International Education Strategy, ‘Irish Educated, Globally Connected’ is to support the development of internationally-oriented, globally competitive institutions and this visit has assisted us in delivering on this ambition.

I met with my counterpart the UAE Minister for Education H.E. Hussain Bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, where we discussed some of the mutual common challenges that we face in our respective education systems and agreed that we will work together through the exchange of information and through collaboration to address these challenges.

I also visited a number of UAE Higher education Institutions such as Khalifa University and the City University College of Ajman (CUCA) where I had the opportunity to promote the Irish Higher Education Sector and had very fruitful discussions on how to increase the level of Academic, Research, Staff and student exchange between Higher Education Institutions in both Countries.

While in Dubai I attend a business breakfast of the Irish business Network to highlight possibilities of partnerships between Irish and UAE educational institutions and to meet with key Irish business community members.

I also visited RCSI and Mohamed Bin Rashid University in the Mohamed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Centre. RCSI are present in Dubai since 2005 offering post graduate education, training and consultancy in leadership, management, patient safety and quality. A strong connection already exists through the RCSI Alumni network and my visit was to strengthen this relationship as Minister for Education and Skills in Ireland.

I want to thank the Irish ambassador and his staff in the Embassy, the local Irish groups, including the GAA, and the Irish living in the UAE for the work they did to make this visit a success.