Universities turn to foreign students to plug funds gap

Ireland is attracting a growing number of international students – and universities are getting the major share, writes Katherine Donnelly for the Irish Independent. Around 9,500 full-time international students at universities last year contributed about €105 million (US$170 million) in fees, helping to plug the gap left by government funding cuts.

However, that is only a fraction of the total value of this lucrative market, which grew to 32,000 students last year. International students attending third-level colleges and English language schools are now estimated to be worth €1 billion a year to the economy.

International students are those from outside the European Union (EU), who are liable to pay full fees and for whom Ireland may be attractive as an English-speaking country in the EU. The government wants to double the number of overseas students by 2015 and has targeted Malaysia, India, China, Saudi Arabia, the US and Brazil.
Full report on the Independent Ireland site