Increase our student population, enhancing quality and diversity

Demographic projections suggest that the number of Irish students coming into third level education will increase significantly over the next 10 years. As Ireland’s largest university in terms of full-time equivalent student numbers, UCD should prepare to take a share of this increase.

At the same time, as Ireland’s Global University, we are increasingly attractive to international students who wish to receive high quality higher education in an open, welcoming and English-speaking environment. 

This increased demand for UCD education provides us with an opportunity to grow in size. There are a number of reasons why growing in size helps to enable the delivery of this strategy. One reason is that we have an opportunity to increase our supply of graduates in areas of high demand, contributing to the flourishing of Ireland and the world.

We also recognise the value to all our students of learning in a diverse multi-cultural environment where alternative perspectives and ways of working can be experienced, and where the intercultural competencies necessary to work successfully in our global society can be developed, and so recruiting more students from other countries and non-traditional groups and communities here in Ireland contributes to providing an student experience that defines international best practice.

In addition, larger student numbers allow us to benefit from economies of scale, delivering teaching and student support more efficiently and more effectively, and the additional fees provide us with the ability to fund state-of-the-art teaching and learning infrastructure.

Consequently, we aim to increase our total student numbers by 25% over the next 10 years, with this increase being through a blend of national and international students. We will focus these increases in areas of high student and employer demand.