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The plan is part of the country’s growth strategy over the next five years, aiming to increase the economic value of the sector by 33%, that translates into the target of raising the annual value to EUR 2.2 billion by 2020.
After outperforming goals set in the preceding strategy, raising the worth of International Education to the Irish economy to a current EUR 1.58 billion, the country has become ambitious. This time round, the higher education sector alone is to grow its economic impact from EUR 819 million 2014/15 to EUR 1.15 billion by 2020. To take up this challenge of nearly doubling the value of International higher education, institutions are to make individual plans that will capitalize on their unique strengths to source new markets, and will be complemented by a supportive national framework that fosters a cohesive approach to recruitment of scholars, and incentivises top students to stay on after graduation. Apart from increasing the number of international students, the new strategy seeks to build world class learning and innovation networks that attract investment, foster Irish students to pursue oversees studies and equip them with internationally competitive qualifications.
The new plan identifies countries such as Canada, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Nigeria, as high potential market opportunities. Funding for increased marketing efforts will be directed at countries as the US, China, India, Brazil, Malaysia and the Gulf region.
The strategy aims to enhance the role of international education, for Ireland to deliver top education in Europe, attract oversees talent and leverage emerging opportunities identified in the country’s impending position ‘as the only English speaking member in the EU’.Irish Department of Education and Skills – press release