Ireland races ahead as a popular international student destination in this new report

Ireland races ahead as a popular international student destination in this new report
International students can't get enough of Ireland. Source: Arthur Poulin/Unsplash

A land of breath-taking scenery, cobbled streets and diverse student scenes, it’s easy to see why Ireland is excelling as a popular international student destination.

From Dublin to Derry, there’s never a shortage of sights to see and travel links to make the most of. Just a flight away from a multitude of European cities and global tourist hotspots, Ireland offers the ideal overseas study experience.

To support its growing notoriety, a recent study by the European Migration Network, titled Attracting and Retaining International Students, reflects the country’s study appeal.

“The number of non-EEA nationals arriving in Ireland to undertake a higher level course of study has grown significantly in recent years. Immigration of non-EEA nationals for the purposes of higher education in Ireland grew by 45 per cent between 2013, when 9,325 first residence permits were issued to students, and 2017, when 13,519 such permits were issued,” the report notes.

Questioning the 45 percent growth in international student interest, one of the main reasons the report pulls out is the international education strategy the country currently has in place.

International education strategy 2016–2020

Published in 2016, Irish educated, globally connected: An international education strategy for Ireland 2016–2020 aims to increase Ireland’s global connectivity and endorse its many study advantages to international students.

The second and current international education study has five key objectives:

1. To provide a high-quality experience for all learners.

2. To focus on academic quality, research and mobility, as well as attracting international students.

3. To develop a distinctive offer that incorporates intercultural aspects and enterprise engagement.

4. To take an ethical approach to internationalisation.

5. To support equality and diversity through internationalisation.

With five clear aims and one clear message of student interconnectivity, this new strategy could be a core driver behind the leap from 2013 to recent years.

There’s no doubt that academic quality plays a huge role in an international student’s journey, but as does the emphasis on diversity and internationalisation.

By ensuring Ireland is a welcoming and dynamic study destination, appeal is sure to grow.

The outward flow of domestic students and inward flow of international students also plays a huge role in the success of Ireland as a study abroad destination.

“The OECD and European Commission (2017) and Clarke et al. (2018) report that inward international student mobility in Ireland is also driven by competitive fees for international students in comparison with other English speaking countries,” the report states.

As Ireland’s global connectivity increases, it could soon steal the top spot of most popular study abroad destination, according to a variety of rankings and reports.

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