Ireland Increases in Popularity for U.S. Students Studying Abroad

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Data shows increasing enrollments for undergraduate and post-graduate students in Irish universities and colleges, according to Education in Ireland.

Of particular note, Education in Ireland data shows a major increase – a 55% jump from the 2012/2013 to 2013/2014 school year -- in the number of U.S. post-graduate students coming to Ireland for post-graduate degree work and research.

Education in Ireland, a government initiative that promotes higher education study opportunities in Ireland, announced today that new statistics indicate a jump in Ireland’s popularity as a study abroad destination among U.S. students.

For the school year 2011/2012, Ireland saw a 9% increase in the number of U.S. students coming to the country to study, according to the Open Doors Report, an annual survey conducted by the Institute of International Education providing information about study abroad trends. The report ranks Ireland as the ninth most popular study destination overall for U.S. students. Ireland’s increase outpaced the overall growth in students studying abroad – pegged at 3.4% by the report.

Data collection and analysis performed independently by Education in Ireland confirms the increase and projects the trend to continue for the 2013/2014 school year. Of particular note, Education in Ireland data shows a major increase – a 55% jump from the 2012/2013 to 2013/2014 school year -- in the number of U.S. post-graduate students coming to Ireland for post-graduate degree work and research.

"We attribute our growing popularity to a number of factors," said Michelle Dervan, U.S. manager for Education in Ireland. "Ireland’s universities and colleges offer unique academic programs that can be highly cost competitive when compared to U.S. education costs, particularly at the post graduate levels. Many students report to us that their overseas study experiences– both on campus and off – gives them global perspective and a hiring advantage after graduation. And certainly, students appreciate the easy access that Ireland provides to other parts of Europe." Dervan also credited Ireland’s increased popularity to a range of new promotional programs designed to heighten U.S. student awareness, including a highly regarded student ambassador program.

"We strive to be receptive to students’ interests and academic needs," said Enda Carroll, associate director of University College Dublin International. "Students are attracted by opportunities for undergraduate research, service-based learning, and unique internships. As with other Irish universities, we have strong partnerships with U.S. universities and colleges and work with them on curricula mapping to ensure students stay on track for their degree programs while studying in Ireland." Carroll said that while enrollment in traditional study areas -- such as the arts, humanities, and business -- remains strong, students are also coming for studies in "new" areas – such as engineering and developmental, environmental, and health sciences.

U.S. student participation in study abroad has more than tripled over the last two decades. In 2011/2012, 9.4% of U.S. students engaged in undergraduate study participated in study abroad opportunities for academic credit.*

For detailed information about study opportunities offered by Ireland’s universities, including application information and a searchable directory of courses of study (by city and college), visit http://www.educationinireland.com.

About Education in Ireland

The mission of Education in Ireland, a division of Enterprise Ireland, is to promote study opportunities at Ireland’s higher education institutions. Education in Ireland represents all of Ireland’s universities and institutes of technology, as well as many of the country’s colleges.

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish state agency responsible for supporting the development of manufacturing and internationally traded services companies. Enterprise Ireland provides funding and support for a wide range of companies - from entrepreneurs with plans for high potential start-ups to large companies seeking to expanding their markets and grow export sales. Enterprise Ireland also supports college-based researchers to assist in the development, protection and transfer of technologies into industry.

*Open Doors Report, Institute of International Education, November 2013.

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