Ireland, known as the ‘Land of Saints and Scholars’,also famous as the land of elves, leprechauns, castles, warriors, and balladeers. Ireland’s reputation for high-quality education has made the nation a frontrunner in the education sector is a culturally rich country with traditions deep-rooted in history. It has close links with other English-speaking countries of the world, especially the UK and the US. The country’s long and acclaimed tradition of excellence in providing high-quality education is recognised the world over. Historically, Ireland has been one of the eminent seats of education in Europe. It retains the reputation till date with successive modern governments attaching equal regard and importance to education.
Higher education in Ireland consists of universities, institutes of technology, colleges of education, and specialist colleges. Side by side with technology courses, the institutes of technology cover a wide range of vocational programmes in subjects including hospitality, healthcare, media, textiles, etc. Specialist colleges on the other hand offer courses in a single subject area. However, overseas education in Ireland attracts a major chunk of Indian students in literature, technology, communications, history, and environmental studies.
Every year almost 200,000 students from all over the world come to study in Ireland, and this number grows each year. This steady increase points towards the fact that Ireland has a great blend of high-quality education and opportunities of an enriching cultural experience to offer to international students. With great employability, rich cuisine and culture, and one of the warmest people on the planet, we have listed down 10 great reasons why Ireland should be on the top of your list of preferred overseas education destinations.
1. Benefit from education in world-class universities
With all Irish universities ranking in the top 5% globally, the Irish education system is regarded to be one of the best in the world. Successive Irish governments have put enormous resources into education and research over the period of time. The academic quality assurance systems of Ireland are highly regarded and sophisticated, which has helped it to consistently secure a position in the top 20 of the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook. The Irish system focuses hugely on the heuristic methodology rather than the pedagogy intensive method of education.
2. Be a part of high-quality research
Ireland invests 782 million annually in research in their higher education institutions. As a result, Irish higher-education institutions now conduct leading research in at least 19 fields, spanning natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Most universities are among the top 1% of research institutions in the world in terms of research impact. Studying in Ireland universities will give you an unmatched global reputation of being a part of the high-quality research.
3. Close educational links with both UK and the US
Ireland has strong links with both the UK and the US. Beyond social, political and industrial links, it also shares links across its education institutions. Higher educational institutions in Ireland permit credit transfer provision with many universities and colleges in the UK and the US. It increases the opportunities for you to continue your education in these countries if you wish to without losing out on the credits you have already earnt.
4. Great work opportunities and industrial exposure
Ireland is one of the best performing economies in Europe and has ample job opportunities for skilled English-speaking workers in various sectors—students or graduates alike. It is ideal for supporting yourself while you study and at the same time gain industrial exposure in the field of your study. If you are on a bachelor level course, you can work for up to 20 hours a week during term-time and 40 hours per week during holidays. Furthermore, you can extend your stay by a year following the completion of your degree to seek employment and apply for a work permit.
5. It’s home to many of the world’s leading companies
Leading global MNCs call Ireland their home. In fact, globally, Ireland is the second most attractive country for FDI after Singapore. Apart from tech giants like Google, Facebook, IBM, Apple, and Twitter, 9 of the world's top 10 pharmaceutical companies have their main office for European operations in Ireland. This means no shortage of jobs after you complete your programme.
6. Education and stay is affordable
Ireland is one of the best value for money overseas education destination. Fee for many programmes is inclusive of tuition, housing, insurance, and various cultural activities and educational tours. Tuition rates, living costs, and other recurring costs are largely lesser than those in the US and the UK. In addition, most programmes are only a year-long rather than two, reducing the cost of earning a degree to almost half.
7. Plenty of scholarships
Many scholarships and fellowships are available from the Irish government and institutions and various international organisations for international students, depending on your field of study and the programme you plan to pursue. Most major programmes also offer scholarship opportunities and financial planning assistance, which can help offset costs. Some institutions also offer scholarships directly, but these are limited and highly competitive.
8. Safe country with friendly people
Ireland has the reputation of being a safe and welcoming country to live in and study. The Global Peace Index ranked it as the 12th "most peaceful country" in 2009 and 2013. The leading travel site Lonely Planet voted it as the friendliest country in the world in 2008 and 2010.It named Dublin as the third best city in the world to visit in 2016. Irish people are renowned for their friendliness. Though they might sound a bit reserved initially, just make sure to meet them over a game of football or over a glass of Guinness.
9. Ireland is a cultural hotspot
You are sure to have the time of your life and come back from Ireland with an enriching cultural experience. The island has produced four Nobel Laureates in Literature; surprisingly, James Joyce, the country's most famous literary icon never won the Noble. The streets of Dublin are steeped in art and literature. You can chat with the locals in countless taverns, visit the museums and art galleries dotting the cities, attend storytelling events, learn and play traditional Irish sports, and soak in the rich musical culture on display in countryside festivals all year long.
10. Explore the ‘Land of Saints and Scholars’ and beyond
For a tourist, the country can be introduced as an island nation with a rich Celtic tradition that pervades the spirit of the nation and all walks of life and a perfect blend of modernity with quaintness. Whether you’re navigating the cobblestone streets of Irish cities or out exploring the lush countryside, you are sure to find Ireland indulging and breathtakingly gorgeous. The country also serves as a perfect getaway to the UK and Europe over long weekends.
There arefour degree awarding bodies: The National University of Ireland (UCD, UCC, DCU and Maynooth), Dublin University, Dublin City University and the University of Limerick. Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) is the awarding body for third-level educational institutions outside of the university sector. QQI is also the awarding body for further education and training.
The country has secured its place at the top of various lists like the Global Scientific Ranking (ranked 14), Global Innovation Index (7th position, year 2006), Chemistry and Nanotechnology (2nd position), dairy, animal husbandry and Agricultural Sciences (3rd position) and Mathematics (4th position). Today, Ireland has one of the best and internationally renowned education systems in the world that offers the finest academic quality. Education is provided mainly by 7 universities, 14 institutes of technology, including the Dublin Institute of Technology and 7 colleges of education. All 34 Irish institutions provide degrees over a broad range of subjects spanning over 5,000 programmes that are internationally recognised.
Top 10 Universities for foreign study in Ireland are:
Top courses to study in Ireland for Indian students
Universities in Ireland offer every student a variety of courses and programmes as per their area of interest. Whether it is an undergraduate or post-graduate programme a student wants to enrol in, there are endless options on one’s platter. Following are the degrees and courses Irish universities are known for:
The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes all applications to Irish universities, colleges of education, institutes of technology, and some other institutes of higher education for undergraduate courses, in a centralised manner. However, institutions are the final decision makers on who gets admission in their institution. Students who wish to apply for post-graduate courses do so directly to their chosen universities. However, you must always contact your chosen university for more information on the application process.
Universities and colleges admit students majorly in September. A few universities offer intakes in February too. We advise students to start planning for applications at least a year in advance.
The general criteria to get admission in Ireland Universities are mentioned below:
The Irish are known to be fun-loving people and take great pride in their Nordic-Saxon heritage. The country suffered during the economic downturn of 2008 but has fared pretty well and is focusing a lot on tourism to draw foreign exchange and improve the economy. As a student with a modest lifestyle; one can live comfortably with about 1500 to 1600 Euros a month. The Irish are extremely passionate about their food and drink and most towns have restaurants that cater to every budget and taste.
Safety for International students in Ireland
Ireland is known as one of the friendliest and safest countries in the world. All universities and Institute are always dedicated to providing international students with guidance and help that will help them in settling into their new environment. Universities have designated staff member to whom any international students can consult for help and support whenever required. The country has Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) which provide free help and practical support to foreigners who are victims of crime. During emergency situations students need to inform the nearest Garda (police) station, the police officer there will then contact ITAS which has a Tourist Support Office for victims of crime in Pearse Street Garda Station in Dublin. Students can even directly contact ITAS on 1890 365 700 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will require a student visa if you wish to stay in Ireland for more than 3 months, with studying there as the main purpose of your visit. You must complete the following requirements to apply:
A passport valid for at least 12 months after your proposed date of arrival in Ireland.
Under Ireland’s Third Level Graduate Scheme, students who have studied in Ireland and completed a recognised degree, such as bachelor’s degree, post-graduate diploma, master’s or an MBA from an Irish higher educational institution may remain and work in the country after their studies. The institution they studied must be listed with an Irish degree awarding body (overseas accreditation will not be accepted). This allows eligible graduates to remain in Ireland for 24 months to seek employment. They can work for up to 40 hours per week, and apply for a further work permit or a green card during this period.
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