Brazil tops league of non-EU students in Ireland

Many students coming for language courses with Chinese citizens second largest group

More Brazilians than any other nationality outside the EU come to Ireland to study, according to the latest data.

Figures from the Department of Justice show that Brazil tops the league for the number of students – 9,225 – studying in Ireland from outside the EU. Chinese nationals are in second place on the list of top 10 nationalities in terms of student numbers in Ireland with 3,127.

US citizens are third (2,578 students) followed in descending order by nationals of India (2,151), Malaysia (1,587), Saudi Arabia (1,151), Canada (956), South Korea (868), Mexico (853) and Pakistan (597).

The majority of students from outside the EU are in Ireland to learn English, and IBAT College in Dublin, which also provides under- and post-graduate courses, is the school with the has the largest number of international students attending its English language teaching programme, with 1,500 students.

The English Studio with bases in Dublin and London currently has 1,368 international students learning English, the second largest non-national student population in the State followed by Griffith College which has 1,320 English language students at its Limerick, Cork and Dublin campuses.

The information was released to AAA-PBP TD Gino Kenny by Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, who said the English language sector was not structured in a way that reflected the immigration and border control arrangements in the State.

She pointed out that “only persons intending to remain in the State longer than 90 days are obliged to register their presence with the immigration authorities and this obligations applies only to non-EEA (European Economic Area - EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) nationals over 16 years of age”.

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is a parliamentary reporter with The Irish Times