State hopes to take in €900m from international students next year

The government is aiming to take in €900m from fees paid by international students enrolling at third-level in Ireland in 2015 as part of an improved international trade strategy.

Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore intends to include educational services in the country’s international trade policy for the first time next year and to reach out to new markets which were not previously on the agenda.

A Department of Education spokesperson explained to The College View how the state hopes to benefit from attracting increased numbers of international students to study in Ireland in future.

“International students make a hugely important contribution to higher education campuses across Ireland and have the potential to become long-term friends of Ireland.”

The envisaged income is a significant increase on the €682m in student fees targeted in 2010.

According to the Department spokesperson, “international education is also regarded as an internationally-traded service and most countries have export targets in this area. Ireland is no exception.”

Ireland’s third-level educational institutes attract a large number of overseas students each year, with 5,000 students currently coming from Brazil alone.

The number of courses being designed specifically for those coming to Ireland continues to increase, while the business of teaching English remains important.

Emma Duffy

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