Delegation in India to attract students
Over 60 academics from 16 higher education institutions are travelling to India this week to try to attract more students to come to Ireland to study.
The Department of Education is hoping to increase Ireland’s share of the 200,000 Indian students who attend overseas universities every year.
The delegation, under the name Education in Ireland, is managed by Enterprise Ireland, and includes representatives from Science Foundation Ireland, IDA Ireland, and multinational online payment company PayPal, whose European headquarters are in Dublin.
Minister of State for Training and Skills Ciarán Cannon, who is leading the mission, said the aim was to promote Ireland as a hub for global education and business.
“We will be sending out a strong message to prospective Indian students that an Irish education is valued by international employers and will provide a real boost to their future career prospects,” Mr Cannon said.
In addition to being future ambassadors for Ireland, the Minister added, international students also help to generate jobs here.
“It is estimated that every 100 additional international students who come to Ireland support the creation of 15 local jobs, through spending on tuition, accommodation and other living expenses,” he added.
Less than 1,000 Indian students are currently enrolled on courses in Irish third-level institutions. Ireland has recently loosened its visa requirements in an attempt to attract more students from India, allowing them to work in Ireland the year after they graduate.
Universities are also introducing their own initiatives. Trinity College Dublin set up a recruitment office in Delhi last month to promote the university to prospective students.
The majority of Indians studying in Ireland are enrolled on postgraduate programmes in engineering, pharma, business, accounting, computer sciences and hospitality management.
Enterprise Ireland’s executive director Julie Sinnamon, who is accompanying Mr Cannon on the trip, said Ireland’s education relationship with India, a priority market under the Government’s trade strategy, is strong.
“Innovative and ambitious Irish education institutes already active in India are raising awareness of the quality and high standards of Irish education providers,” she said.
“This education services trade mission is about cementing and building on existing links and opening new doors to create awareness of Ireland as a destination of choice for Indian students.”
The Indian education sector is one of the biggest in the world, worth $100 billion last year. India also has 600 million people under the age of 24, the largest youth population globally.
“This significant population base, together with growing household income in India, is expected to spur tremendous growth in demand across a wide range of sectors including education services,” Ms Sinnamon said.