The number of international students in Ireland is expected to reach 176,500 in 2020, according to a report released here on Saturday.

Of all the international students that Ireland intends to attract by the end of the 2019-2020 academic year, students studying at public and private higher education institutions will account for 44,000 and those at English language schools will account for 132,500, said the report published by the country’s Department of Education and Skills.

If the targets are achieved, the numbers of international students studying at Irish higher education institutions and English language schools will increase by 33 percent and 25 percent respectively when compared with the 2014-2015 academic year, said the report.

The contributions made by these international students to the Irish economy will also increase to 2.1 billion euros (about 2.4 billion U.S. dollars) in 2020 from 1.58 billion euros in 2015, it said.

Ireland is a major English-speaking country among the 27-EU member states after Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. The Irish government intends to make the best use of this advantage and attract more international students from all over the world, especially those from emerging markets such as China and India.

Statistics from the Irish Department of Education and Skills showed that there were at least over 3,000 students from China studying at Irish higher education institutions in 2019. (1 euro = 1.12 U.S. dollars) Enditem

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