For international students, Ireland is a popular choice because of its rich history, outstanding higher education establishments, affordable tuition prices, and a variety of other enticing qualities. According to a new research published by the European Migration Network titled Attracting and Retaining Foreign Students, non-EEA nationals who came to Ireland for higher education increased by 45 percent between 2013 and 2017, putting international student enrolment in Ireland at an all-time high. Ireland is clearly situated in a lovely, well-connected corner of the world, with the UK just a few miles away and the rest of Europe at your feet. Ireland was formerly a highly isolated country with a strong sense of national pride. Fast forward to 2019, and though Ireland retains its own personality, it has become a much more cosmopolitan country, with citizens from the EU, Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world coexisting with locals.
According to the Irish Times, citizens from countries other than Ireland now make up 12% of the population. Unfortunately, Ireland is not an affordable place to live or study. According to the Irish Times, data gathered from student advocacy organizations and institutions in Ireland suggests that living in Ireland costs roughly €680 (US$800) a month. By 2026, the Irish government wants to make Ireland’s education system the “best in Europe.” Universities share this goal, and the IUA’s (Irish Universities Association) six-point “Charter for Irish Universities” lays out what universities must do, in collaboration with the government and other stakeholders, to achieve the “best in Europe” goal they want. In recent years, IUA member universities have attracted a rising number of foreign students, with over 100 nationalities represented throughout the seven institutions. They are the most popular foreign student destination in Ireland, accounting for 73% of all international students in the country. I interviewed 2 international students to learn what they had to say about studying in Ireland especially during covid and I have uploaded it on my podcast.