THE University of Limerick has welcomed the largest cohort of international students in its history with 2,500 students representing over 100 countries attending this year, worth an estimated €19 million to the Mid-West region.
The figure is based on student spending estimates of between €7,000 and €12,000 in one year and does not include tuition fees paid to UL.
“International students make a very significance impact to our region in terms of our economy, tourism but also in the cultural links built which will continue for years to come,” said Josephine Page, director of the international education division at UL.
UL president, Professor Don Barry, said it has one of the largest Erasmus exchange programmes in Ireland, and they have been welcoming study abroad students for the past 20 years, as a result of academic links and partnerships with universities right across the globe.
Among the international students visiting UL this year are those taking part in study abroad programmes, Erasmus and international exchange programmes and full-time degree students.
UL has links with over 400 universities in 38 countries and welcomes over 2,500 international students each year. International students currently account for 13.5% of the total student number and this continues to increase year-on-year.
One in three undergraduate students at UL spend a semester overseas – last year saw almost 600 UL students travel abroad on study or work placements making it the largest and most successful Erasmus programme in Ireland.
In a recent international student barometer survey, UL was voted as the number one university in providing the best student experience, best student support and warmest welcome in Ireland.
Across the four surveyed categories of ‘living’, ‘support’, ‘arrival’ and ‘learning’, UL was voted as having the best overall living experience in Ireland and the fifth in the world.
UL also scored first out of 238 institutions world-wide in the categories of ‘Social Activities’, ‘Opportunities to experience Irish Culture’, ‘Social Facilities’, ‘Accommodation Office’ and ‘Clubs & Societies’.
UL was last weekend named University of the Year 2015 in the Sunday Times Good University Guide.
UL’s leading position in graduate employability, strong research commercialisation, the €52million Bernal Project in science and engineering and a rising academic performance were among the reasons for the award. The guide also highlighted UL’s “unmatched natural environment in an Irish beauty spot”.