Education

Bounce in EU college students, however Ireland faces European competitors

But based on worldwide training stakeholders, whereas there was a surge from EU-27 college students in 2021, Irish establishments also needs to be bracing for elevated competitors from suppliers within the Netherlands, Germany and Italy.

Provisional admissions figures collated by The Times recommend that just about 17,000 EU college students registered at Trinity College Dublin for this educational yr, an 8% enhance on two years in the past. Other establishments have additionally seen rises, such because the University of Limerick and Maynooth University recording 34% and 28% will increase over two years, respectively, and University College Cork EU college students rising 18% prior to now yr.

A complete of 1,760 EU college students have registered at Dublin City University this yr, a 20% enhance on two years in the past, The Times famous.

“There has been a substantial increase in EU student numbers across the Irish university system, with an average increase of around 20% from 2020 to 2022, distributed across both undergraduate and postgraduate programs,” Lewis Purser, director of studying, instructing and educational affairs on the Irish Universities Association informed the paper.

“The knowledge exhibits that EU college students more and more see Irish universities as a high-quality vacation spot the place – as fellow EU residents — they’ll proceed to profit from the identical phrases and situations, together with charges, as Irish college students.

“This compares to their status now in the UK where they must pay considerably higher international fees and also obtain visas and work permits. IUA expects this trend to continue, particularly as Irish universities become more embedded in European university networks, and more Irish students travel to other EU countries with Erasmus grants.”

“We have indeed seen a surge in interest from EU-27 students in 2021,” Gerrit Bruno Blöss, founder & CEO of Study.eu informed The PIE.

“Although this has gone down again, it’s still higher than pre-Brexit. Our users tend to look at study options 12-18 months before enrolment.”

2020 survey by the research search platform discovered Ireland was solely the fourth hottest various to the UK, talked about by 16% of survey respondents, Blöss added. The Netherlands was ranked high, adopted by Germany after which France.

“This was slightly surprising as English is spoken; and although a smaller country, it still has lots of good universities to choose from,” he stated.

Carmen Neghina, senior advertising and marketing analytics guide at Studyportals, additionally instructed that Ireland was benefiting from Brexit, with EU college students now not eligible for house charge standing and entry to scholar loans within the UK.

“In relative terms, students from Germany, France and Portugal are now more interested in Ireland than in 2020”

“Ireland did benefit from the drop in student interest for the UK last year, however this year we expect more competition for those students from The Netherlands and Germany and Italy,” she informed The PIE.

Growth in curiosity accelerated from July, with August, September, and October being “particularly intense” when it comes to progress, she stated.

“Student interest for Ireland is growing from The Netherlands, and also from Poland, Romania and Portugal possibly due to their previous reliance on UK student loans. It is stable or dropping slightly from other EU countries.”

Blöss additionally added that Ireland could have profited throughout 2021 because of different English-speaking nations past Europe being inaccessible because of the pandemic.

“In relative terms, students from Germany, France and Portugal are now more interested in Ireland than in 2020,” he agreed.

“Beyond Europe, we see growth opportunities in sending countries like Pakistan, South Africa and Saudi Arabia with increased interest in Irish degrees.” Other stakeholders have beforehand instructed that African college students are turning to Ireland, with its “friendly” charges and residing prices, in addition to excessive visa rejection charges placing college students off Canada.

Universities in Ireland have additionally reported rises in non-EU scholar numbers. DCU is up 23% amongst non-EU college students this yr, TCD up 11%, UCD up 9% and UL up 17% over two years. Maynooth University recorded a extra modest 4% rise in non-EU admissions, whereas University College Cork noticed registered non-EU college students lower by 4%, The Times discovered.

Recent college mergers in Ireland may be having an influence, Blöss posited.

“Another factor driving Ireland’s success may be the recent university mergers with new institutions like TU Dublin, TU Shannon and the new Atlantic Technological University,” he stated.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, opened the new Atlantic TU on April 4, describing the state’s fourth TU – Munster Technological University being the opposite – as a “significant occasion for higher education in Ireland”.

The merger of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Sligo, and Letterkenny Institute of Technology to type Atlantic TU will see the creation of an training “powerhouse” for Sligo, he added.

Attracting extra abroad college students might be a key intention of the brand new college, Atlantic TU president Orla Flynn informed Independent.ie.

“We will be a draw for international talent who want to study high-quality technological university programs in a beautiful part of Ireland,” she stated.

“Mergers always take time and effort but synergies in marketing and branding make it easier to reach and attract students from foreign countries,” Blöss concluded.

Laura Harmon, government director of the Irish Council for International Students, famous that the shortage of inexpensive lodging, racism, and the rising price of residing are points that “must be addressed if Ireland wishes to continue to attract students from abroad”.

During a speech at IIEA Young Professionals Network on March 22, Harris famous a “series of initiatives [in Europe] which play to Ireland’s strength of building institutional partnership, which grow from strong person-to-person relationships”.

“I am particularly anxious that partnerships in further education are increased”

He pointed to Irish universities concerned in seven partnerships beneath the European University Initiative, a “huge increase” in Horizon funding and an increase in funding for the Erasmus program.

“I am particularly anxious that partnerships in further education are increased – we all associate Erasmus with higher education. It is more than that. We must do more in that space,” he famous, nonetheless.

“While I do paint a positive picture of our place in Europe, I must also talk about our engagement with the UK,” the minister continued.

“I’ve at all times been adamant that Brexit shouldn’t outline or prohibit the wealthy historical past of engagement between our training methods. I need that to proceed and develop. I lately visited college campuses in Derry and Belfast, and I’m struck by the keenness to collaborate on either side of the border.

“I have met with my counterparts in Scotland, England and Wales, and again, the appetite to work with us is there more than ever. Those connections will remain a constant in the Ireland-UK relationship, as quite rightly they should.”

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