Substantial data is released on an annual basis by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and  the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and Skills. Summary visa data is published by the Immigration Service Delivery (ISD). However, there is no single, comprehensive dataset covering all international students in Ireland. Details of some of the main datasets are provided below.

Outline of Main Datasets

The HEA is the funding authority for the universities, institutes of technology and a number of designated higher education institutions in Ireland and provides student statistics for these institutions. The latest data, covering the 2022-2023 academic year, is available for download here. Data from preceding years is also available here. It is important to note that this data provides only a partial picture of Irish higher education, as there are several significant providers outside the state sector that do not figure in the data. 

The Central Statistics Office's website provides individual-level data on the " Domiciliary Origin of Students Enrolled in Full-time Third Level Institutions by Domiciliary Origin, Type of Institution and Year". This data does not take in international students enrolled in the further education and language sectors.

The Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) maintain statistics on the issue of visas and residence permissions to non-EEA students and release limited data in the form of an annual Immigration in Ireland Review.

Other immigration data releases tend to be made in response to questions in the Irish parliament. These tend to provide general snapshots, lacking in significant detail (e.g. countries/regions) and potentially with comparability issues between different datasets. It is important to understand that what is being measured by immigration service data is only non-EEA students registered with Irish immigration authorities. The figures exclude international students who are EU nationals and others not required to register because of their short-length of studies. 

However, ISD data can provide a useful guide to the number of long term English language and Further Education students in Ireland who are non-EEA nationals. Planned releases are often supplemented by useful data in response to parliamentary questions (see links above).

Historically, Education in Ireland produced a report entitled 'International Students in Irish Higher Education', with the most recent being the 2012 release. Those for previous years can be accessed under the Education in Ireland publications tab. Unlike the HEA data, this report includes data from independent/private colleges and seeks to capture the entire number of students at an institution during the academic year, rather than a census style snapshot. These figures include students registered in Irish HEIs but studying overseas e.g. on branch campuses or on joint degree programmes.

Occasionally, statistical information is available in certain government report, proposal or answer to a parliamentary question and these may provide more up-to-date student figures than the above sources.