Number of international students here growing
The number of international students in third-level colleges in Ireland is growing.
The figure is expected to rise even more rapidly post-Brexit, when, apart from Malta, Ireland will be the only English-speaking country in the EU.
There were 23,127 foreign students in publicly-funded colleges in the last academic year, up from 19,679 two years earlier, according to data from the Higher Education Authority.
They now account for 10.6pc of all enrolments in these institutions, including universities, institutes of technology and teacher training colleges, while there are many more in private colleges.
In 2016-17, the USA accounted for most international students in Ireland (4,696), followed by China (2,153), Saudi Arabia (1,396), Malaysia (1,380) and Canada 1,356.
The Government and individual colleges are involved in a concerted drive to attract more foreign students, who are valuable both in terms of the fees they pay and the wider economic contribution they make, and the cultural bridges built.
Some 91pc of enrolments were on full-time courses, predominantly at undergraduate level, with 58pc aged 23 or under, and 54pc female.
Hea1th and welfare courses accounted for the biggest area of study, so it is no surprise that the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland accounted for 2,401 of all enrolments.
Many students - 38pc of honours bachelor degree holders and 63pc of postgraduates - were working in Ireland nine months after graduation.