Ireland remains in first place for international English Language students 

February 12, 2018

Ireland has remained in first place as the destination of choice for international English language students globally, when measured per head of population. The figures measure the overall attractiveness of Ireland when benchmarked against the other popular global destinations for international English language students.

The new figures are contained in a recent report from Marketing English in Ireland (MEI), the association that represents 66 regulated English language schools and colleges throughout Ireland.

The report from Marketing English in Ireland (MEI) shows that Ireland remains in 5th place globally when actual numbers of international English language students are measured. Ireland is ranked behind UK, USA, Australia and Canada in terms of actual numbers studying. When the figures are analysed per head of population, among the top five destinations, Ireland jumps to first place in the ranking for inbound international English language students.

David O’Grady, CEO of Marketing English in Ireland said, “From the perspective of MEI, it is satisfying to see Ireland as the highest recipient of international English language students per head of population and among the top five destinations by actual student numbers. As a member organisation MEI work diligently to grow the number of students that come to Ireland, which was reflected in the 11% growth in the English Language and Training (ELT) sector in 2016. While the majority (78%) of all students come from the European Union or the European Economic Area, there has been strong growth in the past decade of students from outside this area. In 2016, students from 101 separate countries came to study English in regulated English language schools and college.”

David O’Grady, CEO of Marketing English in Ireland continued, “Once again students from Italy and Spain make up the largest groups that come to study English in Ireland, however with students from 101 separate countries, we are benefiting from the attractiveness of Ireland as a safe and quality destination for English language students. The future outlook remains positive for Ireland and as part of the ongoing work to promote Ireland as a destination, MEI have an ambitious schedule of international trade missions for 2018.”

In the Review and Outlook of the International English Language Sector in Ireland 2017 published by MEI, the figures show that when students are counted in proportion to the overall population of the destination country, Ireland was over two and a half times that of the UK. This has risen significantly in the last year, in part due to the stronger demand for Ireland in the context of Brexit and currency strength in the UK. Australia is the second placed destination in terms of student numbers, after the UK, but Ireland outperforms Australia by a factor of three, on a per head of population basis.

“The international English language sector is a very competitive market and that is the reason MEI work with a range of state agencies, embassies and Government Departments to promote Ireland as a premier destination for international students overseas. As an organisation MEI work with international partners and we are happy to report that they remain extremely positive about Ireland. In addition to this, MEI are continuously working to open new markets and develop new markets, especially in developing markets such as Asia, Middle East and South America,” concluded David O’Grady, CEO of the Marketing English in Ireland (MEI).

Click here for MEI Review and Outlook Report 2017


Media Coverage;

Irish Times – Ireland tops table for English-language students

Irish Examiner – Ireland number one destination for international English Language Students – Brexit could present new opportunities for English language schools in Ireland

Newstalk Radio – David O’Grady interview on Breakfast Business with Vincent Wall

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