ICOS Launches 2020 General Election Manifesto
International students must be a priority in Election 2020
The Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) has today released its pre-election manifesto and has warned that action must be taken by the incoming government to ensure that Ireland’s place as a popular destination for international students is sustained.
International students play an important role in Irish Higher Education and may be worth up to €2bn to the Irish economy, yet because they often do not have a vote, they are not a main political priority.
Speaking at the launch of the manifesto, ICOS Executive Director Sarah Lennon said: “It is easy to measure the economic impact of international students, but the benefits go beyond mere financial ones. In today’s globalised world, academic and social interaction with students from around the world can be enormously beneficial to all students on campus and provides not just educational benefits, but also career benefits."
The current Strategy for International Education expires this year and focuses primarily on the financial impact of international students. ICOS is calling for the incoming government to take a range of measures which affect many students, but may be more acutely felt by international students, who are often exposed to additional hurdles as a result of being in an unfamiliar country and without a natural support network.
Ms Lennon continued: “Ireland is one of the most globalised countries in the world and a big part of our success is our reputation for high-quality education and a warm welcome for international visitors. Without adequate investment in services such as mental health, accommodation and the long-awaited hate-crime legislation, that reputation is at risk and with it, all of the benefits that international students bring.”
The ICOS manifesto can be downloaded HERE