Attracting and Retaining International Students, a report released by the European Migration Network has revealed that Ireland grew its international students from non-EEA (non-European Economic Area) countries by 45% over a five-year period from 2013 to 2017.
The non-EEA students choosing Ireland as a study destination for their higher education increased from 9,325 in 2013 to 13,519 in 2017. International students from EEA countries, on the other hand, remained the same. It showed an overall growth of 0.1% for the same period.
The report highlighted the opportunities that students see in Ireland as well as the potential issues that they encounter in visa processing, accommodation and employment.
Under Ireland’s Third Level Graduate Program, international students who finish a bachelor’s degree in any Irish university can apply for a stay-back work visa for 12 months while those who complete a master’s degree can opt for a 24-month visa.
According to the report, Ireland has been successfully attracting and retaining increased numbers of higher-level non-EEA students. China is on top of the list of source countries for the five-year period although the 2017 figures showed that it was overtaken by India. Among those granted a study permit in a full-time, higher education program were students from the United States at 25%, India at 17%, Brazil at 15%, China at 14% and Canada at 5%.
On the issue of employment, a separate report released by Engineers Ireland raised concerns over the possible shortage of engineering graduates to fill in 6,000 job openings. This shortage will provide international students with more job opportunities by the time they graduate from their civil or building engineering degrees.
EduCo’s partner institutions in Ireland – IT Sligo, TU Dublin, Dublin City University and Maynooth University – offer students, through the EduCo Course Finder, hundreds of program options that would fit their interest particularly in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields as well as details on scholarships, fees, IELTS and other requirements.