In addition, the country’s 18 higher education institutions promise a “welcoming and safe” environment, in addition to being ranked in the top 5% of Irish universities globally, allowing Education in Ireland to tour several African cities.
In addition, the group also promotes the destination with the popular “Silicon Valley of Europe” and “home to over 1,000” multinational companies, making it an ideal location for students for potential industry links and internship opportunities.
Starting this month, Education is holding recruitment fairs in Ireland, starting in mid-February with two events in the West and Southern Africa regions. Later this month, the group will head to the East African cities of Kampala, Uganda, and Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya from March 20-25.
The fairs also appear to have the support of the Irish government where, in addition to asking study-related questions, students receive “advice” from Irish government representatives, particularly focused on visa applications and post-study rules and opportunities.
“Whether you’re looking for a general postgraduate degree or a more specialized qualification, we have a solution for you that will not only deliver exceptional educational outcomes, but also set you apart from other candidates on the job market or in academia,” says one of the promotional messages for recruitment events.
The Republic of Ireland has become a popular destination for African students in recent years, partly due to its competitive exchange rates and relatively affordable cost of living compared to countries in the Western world.
The number of African students increased by 61% between 2018 and 2021, from 800 in 2018 to 1,300 students in 2020. The biggest increase was in 2019, when enrollment jumped to 1,230, up from 800 the previous year, representing an increase of 53%.
In 2021, there were 32,000 international students in Ireland, of which about 3% were African according to the Irish University Association.
In its latest strategy, Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs says it has awarded around 2,000 scholarships to “partner countries”, mostly African nationals, over the past 46 years. It adds that it is committed to doubling the current number for Africans to an annual allocation of 150 by 2025.