This week, fourteen Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) traveled to Washington, D.C. to take part in the annual NAFSA: Association of International Educators Conference. 

The conference brings together 10,000 international education professionals from across the globe to develop and strengthen institutional partnerships, discuss best practices, and network with colleagues.

At the conference, the HEIs gathered under the banner of Education in Ireland, capitalizing on the island’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive study abroad location, with top-notch academics and an exciting student experience.

For South East Technological University, with campuses located in Waterford, Carlow, Wexford, Wicklow, and Kilkenny. the conference was an opportunity to launch the institution to the international community, following its establishment as a technological university in May 2022.

“The NAFSA Conference is a great opportunity to share our plans for the coming years with a global audience,” commented South East Technological University President, Professor Veronica Campbell, who traveled to Washington, D.C. alongside a number of colleagues.

Events like the NAFSA Conference are critical to highlighting the island as a destination of choice said Anya O’Connor, Senior International Officer for North America at Queen’s University Belfast.

“As such a vast and competitive region, it is essential that universities collaborate and take a team approach to engagement at major conferences and events. NAFSA is a brilliant example of cross-border partnership, with universities North and South working together to elevate the island as a destination for world-class education," said O'Connor.

During the week, the HEIs and their partners were welcomed to the official Irish residence in Washington D.C. by Deputy Chief of Mission Orla Keane for a reception, who spoke about Ireland’s long history of welcoming international students to its shores and the tremendous impact the pandemic has had on international education.

“I’m inspired to see the great work that Irish Higher Education Institutions, led by Education in Ireland, have done in rebuilding to pre-pandemic numbers,” said Keane, “and I look forward to many more generations of visiting scholars being welcomed into Ireland’s excellent third level institutions.”

Prior to the pandemic, Ireland welcomed the greatest number of study abroad students per capita of any country in the world. With a reputation as “the island of welcomes,” visiting students truly find a home away from home in Ireland and leave with a lifelong love and affinity for the island and its people.

Education in Ireland is the national brand for the promotion of Irish Higher Education Institutions overseas and the brand is managed by Enterprise Ireland. Click here for more information.