There has been an 18 per cent drop in Irish student applications to UK universities this year according to reports by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.
There is “[a] real concern that Brexit will lead to a decrease in student flows between Ireland and the various parts of the UK” said the Irish Universities Association.
Students are beginning to see the possible effects of Brexit in relation studying in the UK, including a dramatic increase in fees and new documentation.
Potential applicants may eventually have to obtain a student visa or pay international fees between €18,000 and €23,000 or more for a clinical degree.
“When I paid fees, sterling was as weak as it had been in a long time … it’s going to be at least three or four years until anything happens with regards to fees” said Niall McManus, a first year in Queen’s University Belfast. “Basically, I’m in a lucky position.”
There is no guarantee that fees and financial aid for EU students will remain the same from next year onward.
For most Irish universities, the consequences of Brexit could mean a higher amount of applications from Irish and international students.
Ireland is one of the few native English-speaking countries in Europe, which could be a huge attraction after the UK leave the EU.
The increase in non-EU students was reported at 26 per cent in UCD and 40 per cent in UCC and EU student applications to the CAO has increased to 17 per cent.
This may have consequences for Irish students attending their own national universities. The rise in student applications will mean higher points for university courses and a larger weight on the Leaving Certificate as an exam.
Irish universities would need more funding in order to cope with the demand but would benefit from the revenue per year brought by international students, estimated at over €1 billion by Enterprise ireland.
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