The Mitchell Scholarship programme is to be renewed in 2014 after a u-turn by the US State Department.

A statement in America has confirmed that the programme in honour of US Senator George Mitchell’s contribution to the peace process is to return.

The Irish Times reports that the US State Department has decided to reverse its decision to eliminate funding for the Mitchell Scholarship programme.

The news was delivered by the US-Ireland Alliance which organises the fund.

The Alliance announced that the decision will allow the programme to accept applications from students wishing to be a part of the class of 2014.

The project was set up 14 years ago to mark Senator Mitchell’s significant contribution to the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Each year a dozen outstanding American students have received a total of $500,000 in funding to pursue a one-year postgraduate course in Ireland.

Last June however the State Department announced the funding for the project was to be pulled.

However the latest reports say the US-Ireland Alliance is ‘happy to report the news’ which now allows it to accept applications for the class of 2014.

A statement on the Alliance’s website said the discussions about the level of funding beyond 2014 would continue.

“Discussions about the level of funding will continue with our supporters on Capitol Hill but we are assured of a floor amount that allows us to commit to scholar applicants,” the alliance said in a statement.

“Work will continue to raise an endowment as quickly as is reasonable in the current economic climate from individuals, corporations and foundations who care about Ireland and/or educating America’s future leaders.”

Senator George MitchellGetty