The ICEF Monitor reports that Ireland is well on its way to meeting some ambitious growth goals for 2020. A new national strategy released in October 2016 set out targets for 33% growth in international enrolments in higher education as well as a 25% increase in English Language Teaching (ELT) numbers.
Full-year data for 2016, released this week by peak body Marketing English in Ireland (MEI), reveals that Ireland has now booked a second consecutive year of strong growth in ELT enrolments. Following on from strong growth in 2015 – where the sector saw a 10% increase in enrolment and where student weeks were up by 38% compared to 2014 – student numbers grew again in 2016, this time by 11% as total enrolment increased from 107,129 to 119,119 students, year-over-year.
It appears, however, that overall student-week volumes did not grow significantly from 2015, with the average stay per student shrinking from six weeks in 2015 to 5.3 weeks last year. This likely reflects an underlying shift in the composition of ELT enrolment in Ireland due to strong growth in the junior segment in 2016. MEI reports “significant growth” in junior enrolments during the year.
“The focus for MEI has been to grow the market for international students coming to Ireland to study English and we are delighted that we have done that,” said MEI CEO David O’Grady. “Last year students from a total of 101 countries came to Ireland for quality English language education. This is an increase from the record number of countries in 2015, which stood at 89. In 2016, the largest number of students came from Italy, Spain and France and exactly 50% of the total numbers of international students were junior students (under seventeen) from the EU/EEA region.”
Property pictured is GSA Coral’s Brunswick Street, Dublin development.