Belfast Telegraph

Friday 27 March 2015

George J Mitchell scholars scheme is reprieved

The future of a major US-backed scholarship in Ireland has been secured following negotiations at the US State Department in Washington.

The George J Mitchell Scholarship programme, operated by the US-Ireland Alliance, came under threat in June, 14 years after its establishment in honour of the peace envoy. The former Senator from Maine helped Northern Ireland’s politicians broker the Good Friday Agreement.

Every year up to 12 Mitchell Scholars are chosen for one year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered in either part of Ireland.

In June the US State Department signalled its intention to withdraw the £315,000 annual funding for the scholarship.

That decision has been reversed.

A statement on the Alliance’s website confirmed: “In a meeting at the Department of State this week we were informed that State will provide funds to assure that a class of 2014 will be selected this fall.”

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