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Paul McCutcheon: Irish universities must collaborate to attract overseas students

19.10.2015
Paul McCutcheon

New Zealand universities recruit almost 14,000 Chinese students; the Irish universities have just 2,000.

Irish Times 27/10/2015

Each October the Higher Education Expo is held China’s four largest cities. It is a massive education fair attended by universities and colleges from around the world seeking to attract Chinese students: it is the most important recruiting and networking event of the year.

The 2015 Expo started on Saturday and a “Country of Honour” is nominated each year for the following year. Ireland will be the country of honour in 2016 but Irish higher education is underperforming in the international market generally and China in particular. Our international recruitment is below the OECD average and lags far behind market leaders such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

The contrast with New Zealand is striking. Both countries have approximately the same population and number of universities. However, New Zealand universities recruit almost 14,000 Chinese students; the Irish universities have just 2,000.

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