International Links

Links with international and European partners are important for Irish universities, and are used to enhance learning and teaching in a number of ways.

Irish university students and staff are encouraged to undertake periods of study and work abroad in order to ensure that they experience the broader benefits of internationalisation in gaining experience of learning and teaching in another country and using that experience to enrich their own work at home. Such student and staff mobility can take place within the framework of university partnerships or independently. Programmes such as the EU Erasmus+ programme encourage and support such mobility. For more information about Erasmus+ and other European programmes in this area, please see

Much of the research which takes place in Irish universities is undertaken in close cooperation with research partners in other countries, and many researchers in Irish universities have studied or worked abroad. Please visit our Research and Innovation section for more information.

The international demand for higher education represents a significant opportunity for Irish universities to attract overseas talented overseas individuals and companies to Ireland. Irish universities have large and growing numbers of international students – from other European countries and beyond – studying on their campuses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. These include visiting exchange students, students coming for a year to an Irish university, and students coming to study for a full degree programme. The presence of these students in the Irish universities is important in contributing to the internationalisation of the student experience for Irish students also, and enriching the learning and teaching environment, making Irish students more prepared for work in an internationally-open labour market and a variety of cultural settings. Irish universities are committed to achieving the government target of a 33% increase in international student numbers by 2020 in collaboration with Education in Ireland.

Irish universities also enhance their learning and teaching by inviting suitably experienced international reviewers to contribute to regular external and internal quality assurance activities including evaluations of study programmes. Many of the external examiners used by Irish universities for their undergraduate and postgraduate study programmes come from the UK, other countries of Europe or further afield. Likewise, Irish academics are often invited to contribute to evaluations and reviews which take place in other countries.

Irish universities are frequent participants in competitive EU-funded programmes across a broad range of academic fields, which are designed to enhance the teaching and learning experience. In recent years, many such programmes have taken place as part of the implementation of The Bologna Process.

Irish universities are also active in European and international teaching and learning networks. For more information, please see the links below to each university website: