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Minister Costello meets Irish Aid Fellows

Education, News/feature, Ireland, Global, 2014


Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello TD today pointed to the important role played by higher education in the fight against global poverty. The Minister was speaking during a meeting in Limerick with post graduate students from countries in the developing world with which Ireland has partnerships.

Minister Costello was meeting students funded by Irish Aid to pursue postgraduate studies in Ireland in fields such as education, business, law, social policy, health, gender and the environment.

Minister Costello said:

The Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme has been a key component of Irish Aid’s support for development in our partner countries since the scheme began back in 1974. In recent years, we have taken steps to ensure that the programme is more closely tied to development priorities in the countries in which Irish Aid works.

“We have always emphasised the importance of education as a key tool in tackling poverty. It not only expands personal choices and opportunities but also supports sustainable economic growth and productivity. We provide significant support for training and professional development. This support is channelled in a number of ways including through the Fellowship Training Programme, the Kader Asmal and Courtney Fellowship Schemes as well as the IDEAS programme.

“I am keen that the Fellowship Programme would create a strong personal and professional network that will endure for many years. The success of these programmes will be measured by the extent to which the talents and the skills that are being developed contribute to the future economic growth and wellbeing of Ireland’s partner countries.


Press Office

30 April 2014



Notes to Editor:

  • Irish Aid is the Government of Ireland’s programme of assistance to developing countries. It is a division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • Irish Aid has funded a Fellowship Training Programme since 1974. The objective of the Fellowship Training Programme is to strengthen the capacity of partner organisations benefiting from Ireland’s support in our key partner countries.  Fellowships are targeted at mid-career professionals and awards are aligned to priorities and thematic areas identified in Ireland’s country strategy programmes.
  • In 2013, Irish Aid supported fifty four students from our nine partner countries and Burundi (Courtney Fellowship) to undertake postgraduate studies in both Ireland (35) and in region (19). Current fellows in Ireland are studying at UCD, TCD, DCU, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, NUI Maynooth, NUI Galway, UCC, DIT and WIT. 
  • Two scholarships were also awarded under the Kader Asmal Fellowship for South Africa which aims to strengthen the capacity of partner organisations in South Africa in contributing to the reduction of poverty and vulnerability through economic development.  It is named in honour of the late Professor Kader Asmal, who was the founder of the Irish Anti Apartheid Movement and the Irish Council of Civil Liberties.
  • Fellowships are also awarded to successful post graduate applicants from Vietnam under the Irish Development Experience Sharing Programme (IDEAS) Programme. The IDEAS Programme commenced in 2009 in line with a commitment in Irish Aid’s 2007-2010 Vietnam Country Programme and is a programme of experience sharing in support of high level capacity development of Vietnamese institutions engaged in economic and financial governance.  Under the Vietnam country programme, twenty two scholarships were awarded to Vietnamese graduates to pursue postgraduate studies in banking, finance and business administration and five scholarships were awarded under the technical strand in 2013.
  • Irish Aid is also supporting two teachers from the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (LANITH) who are studying hospitality management and tourism in the Dublin Institute of Technology.  

Irish Aid Fellowships

Find out more about Irish Aid's fellowship programmes.