Thursday, 28 January 2010
Dáil Eireann Debate
106. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of international students attending colleges here broken down by sub-group (details supplied) annually since 2007 to date in 2010; the number of applicants to each subgroup whose application was refused annually since 2007 to date in 2010; the number of applicants in each sub-group whose application was accepted on appeal annually since 2007 to date in 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4436/10]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): As the Deputy will be aware the majority of international students attending colleges in Ireland are EEA nationals who enjoy certain rights of free movement within the EEA. Such students are not required to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau and therefore statistical information in relation to this cohort of students is not available. However, non-EEA national students attending courses for longer than 90 days are required to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau and therefore certain limited statistical information is available in relation to such students.
While the particular information sought by the Deputy is not readily available nor maintained by the immigration authorities, the available statistical information, as set out as follows, may be of interest to the Deputy. The following tables outline the total number of students registered in Ireland for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008 (statistics are not yet available for 2009 and 2010) and also provide a snap shot of the position as of 29th October 2009 by education sector.
It should be noted that the figures outlined in Table 1 above include all non-EEA students who registered in Ireland in the years 2006 to 2008 including those who came for short term courses and who leave within the same year. Table 2, as follows, provides a snapshot of the total number of non-EEA Students registered in Ireland on 29 October 2009 broken down by type of study.
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For those students requiring a visa, while the subject to be studied and the level of qualification to be obtained are essential considerations in deciding individual study visa applications, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) does not routinely produce statistical reports of visa applications using the parameters of course title, awarding body or level of qualification.
For 2009 seventy-five per cent of or 3,519 study visa applications decided by INIS were approved. Of these, 147 were approved on appeal, representing twelve per cent of initial refusals being reversed on appeal. The final outcome of the remaining twenty five percent or 1,142 applications was a refusal.
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