Sign up

Have some pie!

Ireland: report calls for focus on student mobility

Ireland’s minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has launched a report calling for a joined-up approach between the country’s higher education institutions and government to widen the demographic of students taking up study abroad opportunities. Currently fewer than one in five HE students in Ireland study abroad.

Prof-Vincent-Cunnane-President-LIT-with-Minister-of-State-for-HE-Mary-Mitchell-OConnor-and-Dr-Des-Fitzgerald-President-UL-at-EMASI-launch-27-April-2018-ULMinister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O' Connor (centre) launched the report in Limerick, Ireland. Photo: Oisin McHugh/ True Media

Ireland’s national strategy aspires to increase student mobility to above 20% by 2020

The Irish Universities Association report revealed that students who undertake mobility programs develop attractive graduate attributes such as linguistic skills, intercultural competencies and global citizenship.

“Access to higher education and all its benefits and opportunities should be available to individuals”

It calls for national targets to be introduced by the government for the mobility of non-traditional students such as mature students, students with disabilities or from lower socio-economic groups.

The skills developed are particularly beneficial to students from under-represented groups and their development leads to enhanced career opportunities, the report stated.

However, barriers including financial concerns, separation from family, health issues, academic and accommodation issues are among some of the challenges highlighted in the report.

Commenting on the findings the minister stressed the importance of equity of access for all students who wish to participate in available international opportunities in study or internships abroad.

“I see our role as educators and policymakers to give all our students the courage and encouragement that they need regardless of their abilities to pursue their dreams,” said Mitchell O’Connor.

“Access to higher education and all its benefits and opportunities should be available to individuals, independent of socio-economic disadvantage, gender, geographical location, disability or other circumstances.”

Ireland’s national strategy on International Education aspires to increase student mobility to above the European Higher Education Area target of 20% by 2020.

An online resource ‘’ was also launched to assist Irish HEIs to widen student participation in international mobility opportunities, such as Erasmus +.

Head of International Education at the IUA Sinéad Lucey told The PIE News that the report and toolkit is an important step in the quest to ensure international opportunities are available to all students and not just those who can afford it or whose academic program allows it.

“The IUA and its members are also committed to exploring innovative ways to offer alternative international opportunities such as short-term mobility or virtual mobility,” she added. 

Related articles

Still looking? Find by category:

Add your comment

One Response to Ireland: report calls for focus on student mobility

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: All user contributions posted on this site are those of the user ONLY and NOT those of The PIE Ltd or its associated trademarks, websites and services. The PIE Ltd does not necessarily endorse, support, sanction, encourage, verify or agree with any comments, opinions or statements or other content provided by users.

To receive The PIE Weekly with our top stories and insights, and other updates from us, please