Universities across Ireland contribute €8.9bn to the economy each year.
A new report by Indecon, commissioned by the Irish Universities Association, has looked at their socio-economic impact.
It also found that from 2000 to 2017, student numbers at the country's seven universities doubled to 120,000.
President of DCU and Chair of the IUA, Professor Brian MacCraith, has outlined some of the other key findings.
"The exchequer is a net beneficiary from the work we do," said Prof MacCraith.
"The annual benefit is €1.6bn in net present value terms over the lifetime net earnings of the students who have come in last year.
"Another significant one is the fact that there are almost 17,000 international students in Ireland by virtue of the universities attracting them into the county.
"And the net economic value on an annual basis is €386m."