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Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade co-hosts Inaugural Alumni Conference


With thousands of Irish graduates working overseas and many thousands of international students returning home after studying in Ireland, alumni engagement is an important strand of our diaspora engagement, Minister for Diaspora Affairs , Jimmy Deenihan told a conference on alumni engagement in Dublin today.


The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in conjunction with Education in Ireland and KonnectAgain, today hosted Ireland’s first ever conference on alumni engagement.

Raphe Beck from Stanford Graduate Business School and Mark Roberts from Durham University shared their experience of alumni engagement at the conference, which brought together international experts, policy makers and Ireland’s universities, institutes of technology and other academic institutions.

Speaking at the conference in Iveagh House, headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Minister Deenihan said:

“The Irish diaspora is not a homogeneous group. One size engagement does not fit all and we must ensure that we are supportive of many different ways to connect with our varied diaspora”

“I would encourage each of you here today to think of ways that we can, as a nation, improve our alumni outreach. I would encourage you to think strategically about this and to collaborate where possible. Alumni engagement is like all diaspora engagement - it is non-competitive and therefore makes collaboration practical and achievable”

“I would like to see events abroad being co-hosted by a number of Irish Universities, Colleges and Institutes where they are branded as Irish Alumni events encompassing both Irish and the international alumni so that the message is about Ireland as well as about the institutions. ”

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade works to engage Ireland’s diaspora both practically and strategically, through initiatives including the Emigrant Support Programme and the Global Irish Network.




Press Office

14 November 2014


Note for Editors:

  1. Enterprise Ireland manages the Education in Ireland national brand under the authority of the Department of Education and Skills. Enterprise Ireland is responsible for the promotion of Irish Higher Education Institutions overseas.
  2. KonnectAgain is one of Ireland's fastest growing start-ups. It is an online platform, which helps institutions reconnect with alumni and gives those institutions the most up-to-date and relevant data on their alumni.
  3. Further information on the Irish Abroad work of the Department of Foreign Affairs can be found here.
  4. Photos of the event have been issued by Paul Sharp to photodesks