Irish Higher Education Strategy will strengthen global linkages and benefit international students

09 March 2021
Posted by Study Group and University College Dublin

The Irish Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science has published a three-year strategy, which will position Ireland globally as a leading knowledge economy, attracting talent to Ireland's international education system and equipping Ireland to compete on the world stage.

A key action will be the development of international education and research, highlighting the Irish government's long-term approach to supporting this vital area of the economy. Key themes will include:

  • Leading Knowledge Economy: Position Ireland as a leading knowledge economy, focused on excellence in innovation, research, and education outcomes.
  • Enhanced North/South Co‐operation.
  • International ambition: Develop an updated strategic framework for international education and research.
  • Advancing with EU Partners: Work with the European Commission and EU partners to support the recovery of the European economy.
  • EU and UK Relationship: Following on from the UK withdrawal from the EU, promote continuing connections between Irish and UK education and research institutions.

University College Dublin and its international study partner Study Group have warmly welcomed the approach taken by the Irish Minister for Further and Higher Education.

According to Dr Douglas Proctor, Director of University College Dublin Global:

“University College Dublin is delighted to see the Irish government recognise the huge potential of the international education sector for our society and the economy for the future.

In 2019, 44,000 international students studied in Ireland and a combination of fees and spending makes a major contribution to the economy. Following Brexit, there is a real opportunity to build on that.

As Ireland's Global University, University College Dublin also draws academic and professional staff from around the world, and this further supports Ireland's global reach and the impact of its research.

University College Dublin is keen to work with Minister Harris to communicate to the world that Ireland is a place where students wanting a warm welcome in an English-speaking country can come and study from across the EU and beyond without the visa-related difficulties they face in other study destinations.”

This welcome for the Irish government approach was reinforced by the CEO of Study Group, Emma Lancaster:

“As a global provider of international education working with leading universities around the world, we see real opportunities for Irish higher education in attracting international students into a welcoming English-speaking country. The rhetoric, strategy and policy of government clearly makes a big difference to international students and their families, and we are keen to play our part to work with the Minister to grow the Irish education, science and research sectors.”

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