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Despite all the negative press about Brexit, there are Irish companies benefiting on UK imminent departure from the EU – particularly those in international education.

On February 16th, DIFC – Ireland’s leading Independent Foundation provider – launched its new brand and strategy for international student recruitment at a special event at Griffith College Dublin.

The event, which was attended by Irish & UK university representatives, saw DIFC announce it’s international strategy for the next 3 years with the overall vision to become a global pathway centre for International students looking to study in Ireland, UK, USA, Europe & Australia.

Speaking at the event, Diarmuid Moroney – President of DIFC – said, “Since the Brexit vote, we have noticed a significant increase in the number of international students considering Ireland as a study destination. This is mainly because Ireland is now the only English-speaking country in the EU – as well as Ireland’s reputation for being a friendly and safe place for international students”.

Since becoming the exclusive delivery centre for NCUK International Foundation Year & Pre-Masters programmes in Ireland in 2004, DIFC have provided pathways for students to study undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Ireland and the UK.

“Our UK & Irish University partner network have been instrumental to our success over the last 13 years – and now, more than ever, we are working closely with our UK university partners to support their student recruitment efforts in what is an uncertain time for international education in the UK”, says Mr Moroney.

In addition, with the support of NCUK, DIFC has commenced expansion of their International pathways with undergraduate & postgraduate options now being offered in Australia, USA & Canada through the NCUK partner network.

“The ability to offer students expanded international study opportunities outside of Europe is a key milestone in our company’s growth. Australia and the USA are two of the most popular study destinations – other than the UK – and these pathways will be vital to increasing our student recruitment”, says Mr Moroney.

With the support of Enterprise Ireland, DIFC completed a Strategic Marketing Review in 2016 which facilitated the development of a new strategy for the company – a key component of which was to completely re-brand DIFC to support their global ambitions. This new brand identity was developed by Dublin agency, Bossanova.

“DIFC have worked closely with Enterprise Ireland over the last number of years and we were very happy to support them with a Strategic Marketing Review grant to help them evaluate their present position and develop a strategy for growth over the next 3 years. Companies like DIFC will be instrumental in delivering the ambitious targets set for student recruitment under the International Education Strategy announced in September 2016”, says Terry McParland, Manager ASEAN, Brazil & GCC Markets, Education in Ireland, Enterprise Ireland.

To cope with increased demand for University Foundation programmes, DIFC is opening a new centre in Cork – in collaboration with partners University College Cork, Cork Instutite of Technology and Griffith College Cork – which will increase the College’s capacity to over 200 students in 2017/18 academic year.

DIFC employs 26 full-time and part-time staff between its College campus in Dublin and Head Office in Naas, Kildare. It estimates that staff numbers will grow by a further 10-15 over the next 2 years.

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