A RECORD 500 overseas students have registered for courses at IT Tralee this week, representing a boost of up to €10m for the local economy.
The Tralee college is bucking the national trend, which shows the number of students coming to Ireland from abroad on full-time courses has dropped in the last five years by 1,400.
The record influx of international students to Tralee will provide a valuable economic boost to the town and region, with latest figures showing that that each full time, fee-paying international student is worth at least €20,000 to the economy (including tuition fees and accommodation).
While the institute has seen growth across all international markets, the most significant growth has been from Brazil. The Institute will register 91 students from Brazil this year, studying across a variety of Science, Engineering and Technology programmes, all sponsored by the Brazilian Government through the "Science without Boarders" programme.
As ITT pursues the creation of the Munster Technological University with partners CIT, growth in international student numbers will certainly help reach the criteria set out by the Higher Education Authority.
ITT's global spread of student recruitment has ensured that students from new international markets such as Canada and Malaysia will be welcomed on campus this September. This year the Institute will account for a ten-fold increase in its number of international fee paying students on to bachelor degree programmes from last year's intake, a significant return in a year which has registered a national decline in international students commencing their studies in Ireland.