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Escalating costs and accommodation challenges plague international students in Ireland

Dublin: Education Ireland has officially confirmed a significant surge in Indian student enrollment, revealing that approximately 7,000 Indian students have chosen to pursue their studies in Ireland in 2023. This figure marks a remarkable tenfold increase compared to a decade ago, when only 700 Indian students arrived in the country for educational purposes in 2013.

However, this influx of students has not been without challenges, as hundreds of incoming students have initiated protests against authorities responsible for student recruitment via Education Ireland. One of the key grievances voiced by these students is the lack of adequate accommodation provisions upon their arrival in Ireland.

The trend of Indian students selecting Ireland as their preferred study destination continues to rise annually. To further facilitate this growth, Education Ireland has initiated a comprehensive ‘roadshow’ across major Indian cities, focusing on admissions for the year 2024. Commencing on September 30 and running until October 8, this roadshow is being conducted in five prominent cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, and Bengaluru. During these sessions, Education Ireland disseminates valuable information regarding studying in Ireland, showcasing diverse universities and colleges, detailing available scholarships, and explaining post-study visa opportunities.

One of the key attractions for Indian students considering Ireland is the provision of a two-year stay-back visa upon completion of their degrees. This post-study visa enables graduates to explore employment opportunities within Ireland, particularly in the fields of technology and engineering. Ireland boasts a robust job market for various computing courses, software engineering, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity, bolstered by the presence of over 1,000 multinational companies.

International students in Ireland are also allowed to work part-time during their academic year, up to 20 hours per week, and up to 40 hours per week during holiday periods, providing significant income potential through part-time employment.

Escalating costs and accommodation challenges plague international students in Ireland.

Ireland is witnessing a noteworthy rise in the financial burden on international students, driven primarily by the acute shortage of accommodation and soaring rental prices. Nevertheless, a growing number of international students have discovered an alternative solution by opting to reside with Irish families as guests, particularly in close proximity to major educational institutions. This choice offers a significant cost advantage when compared to the housing options offered by universities and colleges.

Safety Concerns in Urban Areas

Recent incidents of street assaults in Irish cities have raised alarm, with these attacks predominantly orchestrated by teenage offenders. A noteworthy challenge in addressing these issues is the existing legal framework, which limits law enforcement authorities, or “gardaí,” from taking legal action against these offenders due to their age. These unsettling developments tarnish Ireland’s reputation, as drug-addicted teenagers from troubled backgrounds continue to target innocent overseas students and tourists navigating the urban landscape.

Uniting to Confront a Growing Challenge

In a noteworthy development, the Irish public is now taking a stand against the surge in teenage disturbances. Multiple grassroots organisations have emerged with the mission to raise awareness, stage protests, and address the issue of teenage violence. Plans are underway to coordinate larger-scale protests involving tens of thousands of participants, aimed at garnering widespread public attention to the severity of this problem.

Simultaneously, international student movements are advocating for heightened diplomatic pressure on foreign embassies in Ireland, particularly those representing countries that send international students to the nation. This call for action stems from concerns over the government’s perceived inaction in curbing what has been described as a child attackers campaign, as well as its failure to provide adequate accommodation for international students.

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