Ireland’s growing appeal: Why South Asian students choose Ireland 

As global policies regarding international student visas shift, Ireland emerges as a promising destination for South Asian students seeking higher education opportunities abroad. This is seen in an increase in the number of South Asian students enrolled in Irish universities. In 2013, there were just 700 enrolled students. In 2023, the number reached almost 7,000 students, marking a considerable growth. This surge is primarily attributed to Ireland’s success in attracting students from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 


A major driving factor of Ireland’s allure is that it is an English-speaking country. It’s also a member of the European Union, providing students wider opportunities to expand their prospects. Ireland also hosts several government scholarships and offers streamlined visa procedures, making it more accessible to students. 


Students from Pakistan and Sri Lanka are also attracted to Ireland’s specialised fields like data analytics, digital marketing, engineering and healthcare. Merit-based scholarships offering up to €4,000 further incentivise students to pursue their studies in Ireland. The demand for undergraduate programs is also on the rise among South Asian students. 


Ireland’s commitment to fostering international talent is evidenced by its Global Talent and Innovation Strategy, aimed at positioning the country as a preferred destination for learners, researchers and innovators worldwide. Spearheaded by outgoing Minister Simon Harris, this strategic initiative highlights Ireland’s dedication to nurturing a diverse and dynamic academic environment. 


Ireland is also actively organising education fairs in various parts of India to promote the country’s higher education institutions. The Technological University of the Shannon, which boasts of 250 students from the South Asia region, shows the effectivity of these events at attracting prospective students to the region.  


Along with Ireland’s growing appeal comes a few challenges for South Asian students, such as accommodation shortages. Efforts are actively underway to address these concerns, with initiatives aimed at providing better housing support for international students. 


Still, the attractiveness of Ireland’s educational excellence remains strong. Kevin Kelly, Ireland’s ambassador to South Asian countries, highlights the country’s growing reputation as a premier destination for international students, underscoring the mutual benefits of academic collaborations between Ireland and South Asia. 


Ireland’s commitment to encouraging academic connections and ensuring that international students’ learning experience is a top priority indicates that the country will continue to grow and engage with South Asia. As Ireland solidifies itself as a land of opportunity, South Asian students are increasingly looking to the Emerald Isle to fulfil their academic and career goals. 


To learn more news, updates and exciting study opportunities available for international students in Ireland, please visit our blog or contact our Business Development Managers for more information.    

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