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 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 awardsreflecting 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
• 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
• for scholarships that will highlight Ireland’s strengths as a centre of
• 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 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
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.
3. The scheme prioritises the selection of students who are in the process of
applying to come to Ireland for the academic year 2020-2021.
➢ Possess excellence (academically, personally, professionally, creatively);
➢ Excellent communication skills;
➢ Extra curriculum activities (for example: humanitarian work; politicslocal,
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.
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
The applications must cover the following, as requested in the online
• 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
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 2020 Call as outlined
• 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 willprovide the HEA with feedback in regard to its institutional international
• 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 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
• potential social/development benefit that might accrue to the country
of origin in areas like education, social work, health promotion, and
• 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
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 10 February 2020 and the centralised
application system – link. is now live and accepting applications.
(2) The closing date for receipt of applicationsis 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
GOI-IES@hea.ie 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.