DUBAI, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Irish Minister of State praises education cooperation between Ireland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), state news agency WAM reported Saturday.
Ireland's Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O'Connor said that the Dublin-based Royal College of Surgeons CSI, has graduated hundreds of 540 Emirati students since 2006.
The report marks St. Patrick's Day, the Irish cultural and religious holiday.
Mitchell O'Conner said there are an estimated 10,000 Irish citizens living in the UAE, the largest Irish expatriate community in the Middle East.
Around 3,000 in the community are teachers, she said, suggesting cooperation between Ireland's Department of Education and the UAE on teacher training and a visit by a UAE delegation to Ireland.
She also said Ireland's own higher educational institutions have succeeded in attracting Emirati students.
A team from University College Dublin, the country's largest university and also one of Europe's top research-intensive universities, is now examining the possibility of extending its operations to the UAE, Mitchell O'Connor added.
Saturday also marked the start of the annual two-day Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai, dubbed the "Davos of education."
Education, along with Innovation and Research and Development, will be a key focus of Ireland's participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, the minister said.
The first world expo on Arab soil will take place from October 2020 to April 2021.