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Tue 16 Nov 2010 03:00 PM

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Hundreds of Saudis to study in Ireland in new deal

Irish, Saudi governments close deal to offer vocational skills to Saudi nationals, current students worth €20m annually to Irish economy

Hundreds of Saudis to study in Ireland in new deal
JOB PROSPECTS: While 70 percent of graduates surveyed were disappointed with the opportunities their college provided them with, 87 percent said they were optimistic about their chances of securing a job.(Getty Images)

Hundreds
of Saudi students are to be trained in colleges in Ireland as part of a new
agreement between the Irish and Saudi government, an Irish minister has
confirmed.

Minister
for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe, said the agreement had
been finalised during a trade mission to the Gulf earlier this month, which
also resulted in the signing of nearly $50m worth of deals between Gulf and
Irish companies.

Under the terms of the deal, Saudi students will receive vocational training at Carlow Institute of
Technology, Cork Institute of Technology and Blanchardstown Institute of
Technology in Dublin as part of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Scholarship
Programme.

Around
800 Saudi nationals are currently studying in Ireland, an arrangement worth
some €20m ($27.2m) annually to the Irish economy.

O’Keefe
earlier this month led a delegation of 45 Irish companies, including Allied
Irish Bank and Norkom Technologies, to the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Around $48.95m worth of deals were signed during the tour, including a
joint venture between Ireland’s P. Elliott and Wills Brothers Engineering and
Saudi Arabia’s Alzahid Group.

Joinery firm Woodfit secured a $2.04m deal to fit-out the Princess Noura University in Riyadh.

Cork-based
Apex Fund Services also became the first foreign fund administration firm to
secure official registration for its services in Saudi Arabia.

Irish
exports to Saudi Arabia and the UAE totalled €76m last year.

 

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