Frew confirms Study USA Programme for 2021/22 will proceed

Date published: 01 July 2021

Economy Minister Paul Frew today announced that 61 students from across Northern Ireland are off to study in the USA during 2021/22.

Minister with US Consul General
Minister Paul Frew with US Consul General Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau and Jonathan Stewart of the British Council

The students have been selected to take part in the Department for the Economy’s (DfE) prestigious Study USA programme and will spend the next academic year studying business or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related subjects in American colleges, across 28 states, with the aim of developing their career prospects when they return to Northern Ireland. 

Since its formation in 1994, the DfE initiative has sent over 2,000 students from Northern Ireland to all four corners of the United States.

The Minister said:

“I am delighted that after careful assessment with our partners in the British Council, and associated colleges in the United States, I can announce that current conditions mean that the Study USA programme will proceed in the academic year 2021/22. This is particularly welcome given that the Covid-19 pandemic meant that the programme had to be paused last year. Following Queen’s University and Ulster University’s intention to return to face-to-face teaching in the incoming academic year, this is a further sign that, at this point, we expect students to have a more normal study environment in the next academic year.

“I would like to express my appreciation to our partners for their support for the successful students, the associate colleges in the US for their preparatory work in what had been uncertain times, as well as the hard work put in by the British Council which plays a key role in delivering the programme on the Department’s behalf. Not only will the programme continue to strengthen our relationships with the US, it will also provide life-changing opportunities for those students who participate in it. This has been demonstrated by the success of those students who have participated over the past 27 years.”

Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland, said:

“This has been a challenging year for our students and we are delighted that they will be able to take part in the programme this coming academic year. They will join a growing alumni of students to act as ambassadors for Northern Ireland and our institutions, developing important long-term links and connections between the two countries. Through international mobility programmes like Study USA, students are able to enhance their employability skills and also obtain greater intercultural understanding, helping to prepare them for work in a global economy.  We wish this year’s students every success, and trust that new connections and friendships will be developed in the year ahead.”

US Consul General Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau added:

“Study USA was originally based on the commitment of ordinary Americans who wished to make a positive contribution to Northern Ireland’s political and economic progress. Since then, many Northern Ireland young people have used their experiences to make a lasting contribution as global citizens.  We are deeply proud that this programme has continued to move from strength to strength, as demonstrated by not only the alumni of the programme, but the Department for the Economy's commitment to initiatives like Study USA that increase employability and improve Northern Ireland’s economic competitiveness. We especially thank the British Council for their ongoing stewardship of the programme.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Study USA is unique to Northern Ireland. It offers pre-final year undergraduates, studying at Northern Ireland Higher Education and Further Education Institutes, the opportunity to avail of a year-long placement at a US college. For the 2021/22 programme the Department committed funding of up to £680k covering the cost of programme recruitment, delivery and administration, flights to the US, and food and accommodation costs during term time for around 61 students.
  2. Study USA is just one of many international opportunities available through British Council Northern Ireland. For more information visit British Council NI website , email or follow on Twitter @BCouncil_NI or Facebook. Applications for Study USA 2022/23 will open in late autumn.
  3. The Department may take photographs and videos at announcements and events to publicise its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be issued to media organisations for publicity purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including social media and the internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored on the Department’s internal records management system. The Department will keep the photographs and recordings for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which they have been obtained. The Department’s Privacy Policy is available on our website.
  4. Follow us on Twitter @Economy-ni 
  5. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at .
  6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.


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