The Ireland-Africa Fellows Scholarship Programme, a prestigious and world-class initiative, presents an incredible opportunity for early to mid-career professionals from eligible countries to pursue a fully funded master’s level programme at a higher education institution (HEI) in Ireland. This article will delve into the various aspects of the programme, its eligibility criteria, and the immense benefits it offers.
Ireland-Africa Fellows Scholarship Programme Eligibility and Programme Details
Ireland-Africa Fellows Scholarship Programme is open to individuals from the following countries:
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Sierra Leone
- South Sudan
The programme caters to a wide range of academic disciplines, including agriculture, health, education, human rights, computer science, engineering, and business. For a comprehensive list of eligible programmes, please refer to the “Directory of Eligible Programmes.”
Selected students will receive comprehensive financial support, which includes coverage for programme fees, flights, accommodation, and living costs. This ensures that participants can fully focus on their studies and make the most of their time in Ireland.
Eligible master’s level programmes in Ireland typically commence in August or September each year and have varying durations, ranging from 10 to 16 months. The duration depends on the specific programme chosen by the participant.
Promoting Gender Equality and Diversity
The Ireland Fellows Programme is committed to fostering gender equality, equal opportunity, and diversity. In alignment with SDG 16, the programme aims to build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels. Applications from individuals with disabilities, as well as those from minority or disadvantaged groups, are strongly encouraged. The programme seeks to enhance the representation of female applicants and individuals whose gender identity does not conform to the traditional male/female binary.
Objectives of the Programme
The Ireland Fellows Programme has three primary objectives:
- Nurturing Future Leaders: The programme aims to nurture the leadership potential of selected participants, empowering them to become the next generation of leaders in their respective fields.
- Capacity Building: By providing a quality education, the programme equips graduates with the necessary skills and knowledge to contribute to capacity building in their home countries.
- Building Positive Relationships: The programme envisions fostering enduring personal and professional connections between the participants and Ireland, promoting institutional linkages and strengthening bilateral ties.
Programme Funding and Management
The Ireland Fellows Programme, supported by the Irish Government, offers fully funded scholarships for international individuals seeking professional development opportunities. It aligns with the Irish Government’s commitments, including Global Ireland, the national implementation plan for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and various strategies for international development and partnership. The programme is managed by the relevant embassy responsible for eligible countries, with support from the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) in Ireland.
Application Process and Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for the Ireland Fellows Programme, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Nationality: Applicants must be residents and nationals of one of the eligible countries mentioned earlier.
- Work Experience: Applicants should possess a minimum of two to three years of directly relevant work experience related to their proposed programme(s) of study. The specific work experience requirement varies depending on the country.
- Academic Qualification: Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited and government-recognized higher education institution. The degree should have been awarded in 2012 or later, with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
- Master’s Level Qualification: Applicants must not hold a qualification at the master’s level or higher. They should not be currently enrolled in or scheduled to commence a master’s level programme in the academic year 2023/24.
- Programme Commencement: Applicants must apply to start a new master’s level programme in Ireland no earlier than August 2024.
- Commitment and Proficiencies: Applicants should demonstrate leadership abilities and aspirations, a commitment to achieving the SDGs in their respective countries, and a dedication to building positive relationships with Ireland. They must also have a clear understanding of the academic and English language proficiencies required for their chosen programmes.
- Previous Application: Applicants should not have previously applied to the Ireland Fellows Programme more than once.
Please note that in certain countries, applications are by invitation only, limited to government department staff, NGOs partnering with Irish Aid, or personnel aligned with Irish Aid’s development strategy.
Application and Deadline
Interested candidates should carefully review the Applicant Guidance Note to understand the specific eligibility criteria for their country. The application process consists of three stages: Preliminary Application, Detailed Application, and Interviews. Candidates who progress to the second stage will be required to take an online Duolingo English Test, followed by an English language test, typically the IELTS exam, if shortlisted after the interview stage. The deadline for submitting completed application forms is 30 July 2023.
The Ireland Fellows Programme presents an unparalleled opportunity for early to mid-career professionals from eligible countries to receive a prestigious and fully funded master’s level education in Ireland. By nurturing future leaders and promoting capacity building, the programme contributes to the achievement of national SDG goals and fosters positive relationships between the participants and Ireland. If you meet the eligibility criteria, we encourage you to seize this chance to enhance your skills, expand your network, and make a lasting impact in your home country.
For further information or any queries, please contact the relevant Embassy of Ireland.