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Tánaiste announces launch of Ireland-Palestine Scholarship Programme

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney T.D. has announced the launch of the Ireland-Palestine Scholarship Programme. 


In 2018, the Tánaiste increased funding for scholarships offered to Palestinian students and signalled Ireland’s intention to establish a dedicated scholarship programme. Today’s announcement of a dedicated Ireland-Palestine Scholarship Programme delivers on that commitment.


Speaking ahead of the launch of the new programme the Tánaiste said:


“Improving the opportunities for young Palestinians to access quality education has been a priority for Ireland in our work in Palestine for many years. We are well aware from our own experience in Ireland of the important role that education plays in economic and social development. Education increases access to jobs.  It instils greater confidence and empowers people to better articulate their own needs.  Today’s launch of the Ireland-Palestine Scholarship Programme is a further step forward in Ireland’s support for education in Palestine.”


The new scholarship programme offers a wide variety of Master’s level courses in higher education institutions in Ireland. It is my hope that it will facilitate enhanced academic and professional opportunities for Palestinian students and deepen the strong bonds that exist between the Irish and Palestinian people.”


The Tánaiste concluded:


“We look forward to welcoming an increased cohort of Palestinian students to study in Ireland this year and to growing the programme further in the years ahead.”


The Ireland Palestine Scholarship Programme will offer over twenty full scholarships this year to Palestinian students to study a wide variety of courses in higher education institutions in Ireland for one year at Master’s level, beginning in the academic year 2019/2020. Full details of the new programme and how to apply are available on the Irish Aid website –


A formal launch ceremony will take place later today in Ramallah, with the participation of the Palestinian Authority Minister for Education and Higher Education, Dr. Sabri Saidam, and the Representative of Ireland in Palestine, Mr. Jonathan Conlon.



Press Office

10 February 2019


Notes for Editors:


  • Ireland’s funding to the Palestinian people has traditionally had a strong focus on the education sector which is crucial to Palestine’s long-term economic viability.  Funding is provided to the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in support of their education programmes.

  • Support to the Palestinian Authority’s Education Sector Strategic Plan is provided through a Joint Financing Arrangement along with other donors. €2.5 million was provided in 2018, bringing Ireland’s total contribution since the establishment of the Joint Financing Arrangement to €15.85 million.

  • Ireland also provides annual funding of €4 million to UNRWA’s Programme Budget, which provides a full range of social services including health and education services, to Palestine refugees across its five areas of operation. Approximately 54% of the Programme Budget is disbursed on UNRWA’s education programme.

  • Ireland’s total funding to the Palestinian people in 2018 amounted to €15.38 million – its highest level ever. This funding addresses both humanitarian and development needs, providing emergency assistance to the most vulnerable while also supporting the Palestinian Authority in public service delivery and civil society organisations in advocating for human rights.


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