Number of non-EEA nationals coming to Ireland to study up 45% in five-year period

The number of non-European Economic Area (non-EEA) nationals coming to Ireland to study almost doubled in a recent five-year period.

That is according to research from the European Migration Network.

It shows that the number of people coming to this country to study increased by 45% between 2013 and 2017.

China is the top country of origin of full-time, non-EEA students in State-funded higher education institutions.

The report found that the majority of students are enrolled in health and welfare courses, representing 31% of all full-time non-EEA enrolments.

However, some of the non-EEA students have had problems with immigration registration delays.

Some students have reported difficulties scheduling appointments to register or renew their residence permits at the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS).

Students have said the delays can cause stress and anxiety in relation to their legal status, which negatively impacts their academic experience in Ireland.

Sarah Groarke, a policy officer with the network, says Ireland fares well compared to other European countries.

"The report shows that Ireland ranked seventh out of all EU member states in terms of the total number of students arriving each year.

"And looking particularly at where these students come from and what programme they're interested in, more specifically, China is the top country of origin of full-time students over the last few years and this is followed by Malaysia and the United States."

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