H.E. Mr. Ruaidhri Mark Dowling, Ambassador of the Republic of Ireland to the Republic of Croatia, visited the University of Rijeka Campus on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, where he was welcomed by the University of Rijeka Rector, Prof. Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Ph.D.
Ambassador Dowling and Rector Prijić-Samaržija discussed the importance of internationalization, innovative educational programs, brain drain, the problem of distrust in educational institutions, the continuous decline in the number of students, and also touched on the new Higher Education and Scientific Activity Act. Referring to the consequences of Brexit, the Ambassador pointed out that Irish universities, despite very strong and old ties with British universities, now find it difficult to cooperate and implement joint projects.
As part of his mission in Croatia, in the following months, Ambassador Dowling intends to visit numerous Croatian cities and Croatian universities to re-strengthen ties weakened and/or broken during the coronavirus pandemic. It is especially important for him to nurture friendly relations with universities and academic communities in general. Out of all Croatian universities, he has yet to visit only the University of Dubrovnik.
This is the Ambassador’s first visit to the University of Rijeka. During his stay in Rijeka, he also visited the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, where he attended a guest lecture Seamus Deane: The Critic as Intellectual by Conor McCarthy, Ph.D., from the University of Maynooth in Ireland, which was held as part of the Irish Studies Guest Lecture Series 2022.
Ambassador Dowling arrived in Croatia in September 2020. He is an experienced diplomat who joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Ireland in 1998, and served in the diplomatic service in Australia, Greece, and the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU (Brussels). Before coming to Croatia, he spent four years in the Irish embassy in London. In the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin, he worked on development assistance to Eastern Europe, Russia, disarmament and non-proliferation policy, as well as on bilateral relations with the USA and Canada.