Reduction in international students may put pressure on universities’ funding

Students walk past the helix

The International Office has seen a 15 per cent decrease in international student applications from outside of the EU for next year, according to a statement from the office.

So although DCU plans to welcome back students in October, diversity on campus will look very different.

The Irish Times reported April 18 that Irish universities will lose up to 80 per cent of their international students in total, due to travel restrictions and fears over Covid-19.

About 17,000 non-Irish students enrolled in Irish colleges in the 2019/2020 academic year, which is set to cut down to about 3,400 next year, according to The Times.

The decrease will hit DCU particularly hard. Not only will DCU’s international reputation suffer, but the decline in international students will have a devastating effect on the school’s finances.

Across all undergraduate courses, DCU’s average yearly tuition for EU students is about €3,000, according to the International Office. However for non-EU students, it is roughly €15,000.

Last year, DCU made about €44 million from their 14,600 EU students, but made over €34 million from only about 2,300 non-EU students.

The decrease comes at an unfortunate time, as the school was planning to take on an extra 5 per cent of international spots next year.

Across Ireland, the lack of Internation students, and their fees, are set to be detrimental.

Trinity College has already frozen their international recruitment program following research from the Irish Universities Association predicting a €385 million shortfall for the Irish student market.

On top of the tuition revenue lost as a result of fewer international applicants, DCU and other large colleges will suffer a further financial blow with campus accommodation.

DCU’s accommodation office declined to speak to The College View, but according to their website International Students are primarily offered accommodation at College Park on the Glasnevin Campus which costs about €4,000 per student annually.

With the shortage in campus accommodation, Irish students will likely fill those empty spots.

However, the accommodation office could see a further loss in revenue from renting out accommodation in the summer months.

The Irish Universities Association predicts a multi-million Euro loss for campus residences nationwide because of the drop in summer holiday bookings.

DCU International applications for the 2020/2021 academic year are not due until July 15, so the school will not have a complete picture of how their finances will be affected until then.

Devin Sean Martin