Proportional decrease of international students in DCU

Brendan Fernando Kelly Palenque

The international student population of DCU increased by only 10 per cent between 2008 and 2018, according to the univerity’s Freedom of Information (FOI) office.

This is despite an increase in the total student body population by around 80 per cent in that same time period.

In 2008, 2,111 non-Irish citizens studied at DCU. That meant that 22 per cent of the total student body of 9,330 were international students.

Compared to the current academic year, 2,335 international students are currently studying in DCU. As there are around 17,000 students in DCU in 2018, international students now only represent close to 14 per cent of the total student population.

This year, more international students are from France than any other individual country, with DCU having 277 French students. However, in 2008, French students came third in the list, with 212 students in DCU.

Germany was second with 216 students, and China was first with 240 students.

In 2018, fewer students from both Germany and China came to DCU, with 179 German students and only 114 Chinese students. Between 2008 and 2018, there was a decrease of around 48 per cent of Chinese students in DCU.

In 2008, the top ten countries international students came from were: China, Germany, France, USA, India, UK, Nigeria, Spain, Poland and Italy.

In 2018, the top ten are France, USA, UK, Germany, India, Poland, Spain, China, Japan and Lithuania.

Only two countries left the top ten: Nigeria and Italy. Nigerian students fell from 166 in 2018 to 63 today – that’s a decrease of over 60 per cent.

On the other hand, the number of Italian students has actually increased from 45 ten years ago, to 77 today (an increase of over 70 per cent).

In 2008, international students came from 110 different countries. In 2018, international students came from 108 countries.

This decrease could be due to a different way of categorizing citizenship. In the FOI office’s list of countries of origin for international students in 2008, Isle of Man and the Netherlands Antilles are listed separately.

However, residents of Isle of Man and the Netherlands Antilles are citizens of the UK and the Netherlands respectively. It is possible that this error was corrected some time in the last decade.

This information from DCU’s FOI office is based on the citizenship of the student and students with an unknown citizenship were excluded. Students studying DCU programmes delivered in Princess Nora bint Abdul Rahman University Saudi Arabia were also excluded.

Curiously, DCU’s FOI office said that five students studying in DCU in 2018 are citizens of Yugoslavia. This is despite the fact that Yugoslavia officially broke up back in 1992, over 25 years ago.

As DCU was established only in 1975, it has existed in a world without Yugoslavia for longer than a world with it. DCU’s FOI officer Joe Maxwell said he would look into it but has yet to get back to The College View at the time of print.

Brendan Fernando Kelly Palenque

Image Credit: Brendan Fernando Kelly Palenque