The number of Irish students studying in the United States has increased by 9.3 per cent over the last five years, according to The 2013 Open Doors Report on International Exchange.
Approximately 1,158 Irish undergraduates studied in the US in the academic year 2012/2013. For the academic year 2011/2012, the figure for Irish postgraduate students was 7,640.
Northeastern University in Boston remains the most popular university among Irish undergraduates. However, the top five universities changed overall, with Duquesne University, Boston College, Mercyhurst College and the University of Scranton making the list.
Joanne Davidson, Communications and Education USA Manager for Ireland, said the changes may be down to internationalisation within universities.
“Internationalisation is a hot topic amongst almost all universities and they are all competing to diversify their campus and bring international students to their college. With this often comes more scholarships for international students, especially for athletes and participants in special programmes.
“Additionally, some of the most popular schools for undergraduates have a very prominent presence in Ireland, possibly leading to their popularity. For example, Boston College has a prominent building on St. Stephen’s Green and Duquesne has a partnership with UCD for study abroad,” she said.
Most of these universities are located on the east coast of the US, a region that has always been popular with Irish people.
“I think the east coast of America is generally very popular for Irish students. Many students that contact me have connections along the Eastern seaboard, especially in Boston and New York,” said Davidson.
The top five most popular universities for Irish postgraduate students remained relatively unchanged, with New York University, Columbia University, the University of Notre Dame, Harvard University, and Cornell University leading the way.
The number of American students coming to Ireland to study increased at the same rate of 9 per cent. Figures show that 7,007 students from the US studied in Ireland in 2012.
Davidson said many students choose to study abroad because of “the quality of education and diversification of their CV.”