Engagement of International Students at Irish Higher Education Institutions


  • Merike Darmody The Economic and Social Research Institute
  • Sarah Groarke The Economic and Social Research Institute
  • Georgiana Mihut University of Warwick




international students, student survey, academic engagement, Republic of Ireland, regional differences


Existing research paints a mixed picture of how international students fare academically following a transition to a host higher education institution. Most studies that have examined differences between domestic and international students’ engagement treated international students as a homogenous group. Less evidence is available on the experiences of international students from different regional groups. Drawing on Irish Student Engagement Survey data, this article explores the extent to which international students’ engagement differs from that of their Irish peers, and whether there are differences across regions of origin. The findings indicate that while international students are highly engaged compared to their Irish counterparts, regional differences persist when the data were disaggregated. The paper is of potential interest to policymakers and higher education institutions, offering insights into how the provision of services and supports to international students could be better targeted.

Author Biographies

Merike Darmody, The Economic and Social Research Institute

Merike Darmody is a Research Officer in the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Trinity College, Dublin. Her research focusses on educational inequality, socio-cultural differences in education and processes shaping student outcomes. She can be reached via email at Merike.Darmody@esri.ie.

Sarah Groarke, The Economic and Social Research Institute

Sarah Groarke was a Policy Officer at the Irish National Contact Point of the European Migration Network, within the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, and currently works at the Ombudsman for Children’s Office, Ireland. Her research interests focus on international migration, asylum, integration and human rights. She can be reached via email at sarahjgroarke@gmail.com.

Georgiana Mihut, University of Warwick

Georgiana Mihut is an Assistant Professor at University of Warwick in the Department of Education Studies, UK. Her research focuses on comparative and international higher education, tertiary education policy, internationalization, and higher education stratification, access, and equity. He can be reached via email at georgiana.g.mihut@gmail.com.


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How to Cite

Darmody, M., Groarke, S., & Mihut, G. (2022). Engagement of International Students at Irish Higher Education Institutions. Journal of International Students, 12(4). https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v12i4.3608



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