In 2016, Ireland became the first European country to allow students from abroad to study at the universities of Rice University, Trinity College Dublin, St. Andrews University and Trinity College Cork.
The policy has proved popular, and has been extended to universities in the US, Germany and Sweden, with other countries expected to follow suit.
The study abroad option has helped boost Ireland’s international image, which has seen it ranked as one of the most desirable destinations by the Economist magazine.
With the number of international students in Ireland soaring to over 3,000 last year, the Irish Government is considering a second wave of the scheme, with plans to offer a second year at each of the country’s 10 universities.
The Irish Government has already announced a study abroad scheme for 2018, with the first academic year expected to commence in 2019.
The government will announce the new scheme’s terms later this month, with a total of €5.2 billion in funding to be earmarked for international students.
In a speech to the Irish Council for International Affairs in March, Minister for Universities Paul Murphy said the government would be launching the second phase of the study abroad programme in 2020.
Murphy said he believed that “the study abroad opportunity is there to be had” and that the Irish people should be able to “use it for the good of our country”.
In a recent interview with the Irish Times, Murphy said that a second study abroad period was “a very viable option for our country, which is why we’re considering the feasibility of extending the scheme to other universities”.
The Irish government’s plans for a second period of study abroad have been welcomed by all quarters.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Ireland’s minister for international relations, Catherine Murphy, said: “Ireland is one of a number of European countries to offer international students a second chance at studying in the country, and the Government has recognised that this is the right thing to do.”
It’s a wonderful opportunity for students and for Ireland as a whole to develop their learning and their skills.
It also offers the opportunity for our students to become part of the wider international community.
“International students are among the brightest young people in the world and it is a pity that they are not given a second opportunity to explore and learn the world as a result of the current study abroad policies.” “
As a former lecturer and as someone who has seen the impact of this scheme on international students, I welcome the Government’s plans to extend it to other European universities,” he said.
“International students are among the brightest young people in the world and it is a pity that they are not given a second opportunity to explore and learn the world as a result of the current study abroad policies.”
Professor Coates said the Government should also be “looking at ways of promoting Irish research through research students, and other international students”.
The Dublin-based organisation, the Centre For International Research and Education, which promotes Irish research, said it was keen to see the Irish government move beyond its current focus on the study overseas scheme.
“It is important that Ireland’s academic institutions remain focused on the opportunities they offer, rather than trying to compete with their European counterparts,” the group’s chief executive, Joanne O’Neill, said.
O’Sullivan said that while Ireland was one of only a handful of European nations to offer study abroad to international students at all of its universities, the country was not alone.
“We’ve had a similar situation in England, where there’s a national programme, and in Ireland there is an umbrella scheme for all Irish universities,” she said.
Ireland’s study abroad schemes are among a number that have emerged as a part of a drive by the Irish authorities to recruit more international students to the country.
In February this year, Minister Murphy announced that the government had agreed to establish a new international student scheme, which would be funded by a third of the fees received by students.