The Economic Impact of Study Abroad in Ireland
Understanding U.S. Study Abroad in Ireland: Economic impact and future possibilities was launched 28 September 2018 by Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD, Minister of State for Higher Education.
Key findings of the report, produced by Southern Cross Consulting and commissioned by the Association of Study Abroad Providers in Ireland and Education in Ireland, include:
Close to 12,000 US students a year choose Ireland as a study abroad destination
Commonly cited reasons for choosing Ireland include: English language, ease of travel to Europe, safety, friendliness, culture, ancestry, and an understandable, “well aligned” academic system
The US study abroad sector in Ireland contributes €220M to the Irish economy each year as a combination of direct, induced, and indirect spending
The study abroad sector directly supports 187 jobs in Ireland, and indirectly supports a further 261 jobs, for a total of 448 full-time jobs
The study projects that if student growth continues at it’s current rate, within five years the sector will support 667 jobs
Ireland has the highest US study abroad population per capita
US students rate their overall experience of Ireland highly - the only area with significant dissatisfaction is cost of living, though Ireland is comparatively competitive with other European destinations
The report poses several questions and challenges to the sector on how best to sustain and manage the growth of the sector, including building on the established success of North-South cooperation in international education, diversifying locations to include smaller urban and rural areas, developing creative cooperative models to respond to the growing demand for internships, and ensuring that the diverse range of subject options beyond arts and humanities are communicated to potential students.