Study In Ireland

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What makes Ireland an Attractive Study Abroad Destination for Indians

woman in ireland

From big, bustling cities to the green pastures of the countryside, Ireland has the best of both worlds packed into it making it one of the most sought-after study-abroad destinations in the world for Indian students. For example, Dublin happens to be one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities while the Blasket Islands of Dingle Bay, off Ireland’s southwestern coast, seem almost a throwback to the earlier centuries. Ireland is strategically placed right next to the UK and the rest of Europe making it a well-connected destination for Indian students to pursue their higher education dreams.

Here are top six reasons why Ireland could be an ideal study destination for you:

Quality institutions

Indian students can choose from a wide variety of courses and subjects since Irish higher education institutions are widely recognised for excellence in many disciplines. The Irish government monitors the quality of education via National Framework of Qualifications (NFF). This means irrespective of the university you enrol in, the quality of education remains the same across all colleges and universities.

Choose from an array of programs and courses

Whether you choose to tread on the beaten path or choose to pursue an offbeat career, Ireland has something to offer to almost every student who aspires to study in this Emerald Isle. Indian students can gain admission in a wide variety of programs (5000+) in areas such as medicine, science, technology, engineering, business, law, languages, literature, history, philosophy, psychology, and other subjects.

Study in research-centric universities

Irish universities are known for their expertise, innovation and research. Indian students can avail the abundant R&D opportunities at both undergraduate and graduate level. Irish history is replete with names like Ernest Walton, John Bell, Oscar Wilde, and James Joyce who have only proved that innovative thinking, creativity, and problem solving are some of the integral aspects of the Irish curriculum.

Students from the Indian sub-continent can tap into the abundant opportunities in Ireland. Some of the world’s leading organizations operate from Ireland and have their key strategic research facilities here.

A doorway to opportunities

Students from the Indian sub-continent can tap into the abundant opportunities in Ireland. Some of the world’s leading organizations operate from Ireland and have their key strategic research facilities here. Ireland is home to more than 1,000 multi-national companies with 9 of 10 global ICT companies, 8 of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies, 6 of the top 7 diagnostic companies, 8 of the top 10 gaming companies, and 15 of the top 20 medical device companies. Also, 50% of the world’s leading financial services firms are also based in Ireland.

Safety aspects of the country

Ireland has been consistently ranked among the top 10 countries in Global Peace Indices of 2018* and 2017*, which makes it one the safest countries in the world. You will enjoy similar rights as any local Irish citizen and stay in a society that is always ready to extend help and support to migrants.

Part-time work opportunities

Ireland is an immigrant-friendly country that allows students to stay for an extended period of 24 months after they complete their programs. Ireland allows you to work part-time which means students can fund their education while they complete their studies. Students can work for 20 hours per week during the academic season and 40 hours per week during the months of May, June, July, August and mid- December to mid- January.

Upon completion of their studies, students can continue to remain in Ireland to seek employment under the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme for non-EU third level graduates.

Education System in Ireland

Academic excellence, globally-recognised qualifications, vibrant campus life in a multi-cultural setting, abundant research opportunities and immense post-study benefits are some of the things that studying in Ireland can offer for students from the Indian sub-continent.

Study levels in Ireland

The Irish education system is built on the same lines as that of the UK and is on par with the UK education system which explains the high level of quality and exceptional standards of the Irish education system. Education in Ireland is mainly categorised into four levels.

Primary education including pre-primary

Post primary education

Further education and training

Higher education

National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)

The NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications) sets the standards of the Irish education qualifications. It measures and compares the learning standards and achievements of qualifications and also facilitates the transfer of students between institutions i.e. it allows students to move from one study level to another as long as they meet the student visa requirements.

Since the credentials that students gain under NFQ correspond with that of European Qualification Framework, their degrees are recognised and accepted globally.

Irish universities, Institutes of Technology and HECA private colleges provide third-level qualifications on the NFQ.

Fee structure of universities

While the tuition fee in Ireland is reasonable, students must possess good financial management skills in order to effectively manage their expenses in an overseas country. Tuition fees for international students vary according to the type and duration of the course. Each university in Ireland sets its own tuition fees, depending on the subject and level of study. The average degree costs between €10,000 and €25,000 a year.

Teaching and learning methodologies

Irish universities have a very modern and conducive learning environment wherein students will be asked to engage with both their classmates and their instructors alike while understanding the topic/concept of discussion. This facilitates better understanding of the concepts that are involved and also makes the learning style highly interactive in nature. The Irish education system extends support to all international students, both in the classroom and outside of it.

Students will be expected to do a lot of independent learning which can include working on assignments, reading a lot of academic lists and taking notes during their lectures. In addition to lectures, tutorials are also conducted to helps students understand the concepts in a better manner. The classroom size is smaller than India and English is the medium of instruction. Indian students may not be familiar with the Irish accent but once they get used to it, they’ll know why it is called the most charming accent of the world.

Higher (or third-level) education

The higher education comprises universities, colleges, and institutes of technology, most of which are funded by the Irish government. Ireland has a total of 7 universities, 7 colleges of education, 15 private higher education institutions and 14 Institutes of Technology (IoT). There a few additional third-level private institutions in Ireland that offer specialised education in disciplines like business studies, art and design, law, medicine, etc.

Higher education can entail degree and non-degree programs.

Non-degree programs

Level Description

Level 6 Higher certificate (mostly offered by IoTs)

Duration: 2 years

Level 7 Higher diploma

Duration: 1 year

Level 8 Graduate diploma

Duration: 1 year

Level 9 Postgraduate diploma

Duration: 1-2 years

Degree programs

Level Description

Level 7 Bachelor’s degree

Duration: 3 years (medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, and architecture programs may be for 5-6 years)

Level 8 Honours bachelor’s degree

Duration: 3-4 years

Level 9 Master’s degree

Duration: Mostly 1 years with exception to certain courses that may extend to 16-24 months

Level 10 Doctoral degree

Duration: 3 years of research followed by dissertation

Pathway programs

There are also many pathway programs for higher education for international students including foundation studies mostly in business, social sciences, engineering or pure/applied sciences. Irish universities have tie-ups with private pathway providers who help students receive extra support and assistance they need in order to succeed. Indian students aiming for masters can also apply to pre-master pathway programs if they’re unable to meet the requirements for direct entry.

Academic year

Higher education is usually divided into two semesters.

First semester: Starts in September and runs till December

One-month Christmas break: December/January

Second semester: Starts late January and runs till May

Summer break: May till early September

After graduation

As per the revised Third Level Graduate Scheme Permission, the Irish Government provides a very good opportunity for students who have graduated from Irish institutions to continue to stay in Ireland for up to 24 months for employment and work opportunities.

Ireland: Trivia

  • Saint Patrick’s Day is Ireland’s official national holiday. The 17th of March holiday is celebrated in Ireland and also embraced by many other countries around the world.
  • The world famous Guinness beer is from Ireland, it originated in the Dublin brewery of Arthur Guinness.
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  • Ireland is also referred to as ‘Emerald Isle’ due to its green countryside.
  • Irish, or Irish Gaelic is the country’s first official language, however the second official language English is more commonly spoken.
  • In 2002 Ireland was the first country in the world to have an environmental tax for plastic shopping bags and in 2004 it was the first to introduce a public smoking ban.

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