Northern Ireland

27% more UK students apply to Irish colleges

The number of students from the United Kingdom applying to study at third level in the Republic of Ireland has risen sharply.

Preliminary figures show a 27% increase in UK applications which now stand at 2,500.

This coincides with major increases in fees across England and Wales where students will be expected to pay up to £9,000.

In Northern Ireland, student fees are about £3,000 per year.

The figures, from the Republic of Ireland's universities admissions body, the CAO, also reveal that more people are applying for science and computing courses. First preferences in this area rose by 18%.

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