It was really rather disheartening to see that the Irish Department of Justice has just ruled that students from outside the European Economic Area will no longer be able to bring their children with them on their student visas (as reported in an article in Wednesday's Irish Times).
Given that Ireland is already way behind its English-speaking 'competitor' countries in terms of the numbers of international students recruited, this decision is surely going to deliver a huge blow to the prospects of increased recruitment. The 'left hand' of government is strongly encouraging universities to expand their 4th Level provision, and the 'right hand' of government is actively discouraging potential postgraduate students to come here. I don't get it.
I do believe that Irish universities would benefit from increased international student recruitment, if they can get it right. Part of getting it right involves an appreciation of education for 'global citizenship', and a willingness to bring about cultural exchanges that enrich the academic environment. If international students are treated as second-class citizens from the start, it is very difficult to bring about positive outcomes.