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Is Ireland a good place to study?

January 17, 2019 13:35 IST

'Undergraduate and postgraduate courses for the September 2019 intake are now open for applications.'

Education in Ireland: Parents and students attend a fair in Mumbai

IMAGE: Parents and students attend the Education in Ireland fair on November 21, 2018 at the St Regis hotel, Mumbai. Photograph: Kind courtesy Education in Ireland

College Application Time is here!

Students from across streams in India are examining options to enhance their education profile.

With the rupee falling, Indians are looking beyond the US to pursue higher education.

Ireland is one of the more sought after destinations after Britain, Germany, France and Australia.

According to Barry O'Driscoll, a senior spokesperson for Education in Ireland, the percentage of Indians visiting the country increased by 17% in 2017.

O'Driscoll, left, below, tells Divya Nair/ how international students can secure admission at a top Irish college.

Barry O'Driscoll

Why do you think Ireland is a good country for Indian students?

Ireland is an English-speaking country with a long tradition in education.

All of Ireland's universities are ranked in the top five per cent globally. Ireland's Institutes of Technology (there are 14 of them that go by that name) are renowned for their close links with industry and their highly employable graduates.

The country, much like India, offers a buzzing, multicultural, society, where students will certainly find the highest of education standards and warmest of welcomes.

In fact, Ireland is one of the ten safest countries on earth, according to the Global Peace Index 2017.

How have things changed for students post Brexit in Ireland?

Since the Brexit vote, Ireland's higher education institutions have seen a notable increase in applications and enquiries for higher level programmes from Indian students.

It is expected that Brexit will lead to an increase in international students and researchers choosing Ireland.

The country's membership of the European Union has played an integral role in building Ireland's reputation as a location for orld-class research and as a centre of excellence in higher education.

For the UK, Brexit brings uncertainty over the future of its involvement in international research and serious concerns about losing European research funding and top international academics.

Whereas for Ireland, its strong place in the EU will ensure that Irish higher education institutions continue to access valuable EU funding, and remain at the forefront of research and innovation.

UK universities are now seeing a drop in applications from international students in recent months, whereas Ireland's institutions have seen a notable increase in applications -- particularly from India.

In terms of post-study work opportunities for graduates, Brexit could also present an opportunity for Ireland.

After Brexit, Ireland will be the only English-speaking country in the European Union.

The Irish authorities are currently dealing with hundreds of enquiries from companies, particularly in the financial services sector, considering to relocate from the UK to Ireland in order to maintain access to the European market.

What is the eligibility to apply for a course in a university in Ireland?

The eligibility criteria for each university and course varies, though there are certain general requirements that a candidate needs to keep in mind before applying for colleges in Ireland:

What are some of the things students should bear in mind before applying?

Students from non-EU countries are not covered for any free medical attention off-campus and must therefore have their own private insurance.

Please note that heavy levies are charged for all hospitalisation and it is advised to make provision for adequate medical insurance.

Non-EU students are required to show proof of comprehensive medical insurance with an Irish Health Insurance provider when registering with the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

Proof of health insurance is also required when applying for a student visa.

What advice would would you share with Indian students who would are considering studying in Ireland?

What is the average student mix like? Which country has maximum representation?

There is a large cohort of students from other EU member states studying in Ireland -- France, Spain, Germany and Italy here.

From outside of the EU there are students from the US, Canada, Brazil, Middle East, India and China.

How conducive are living conditions for vegetarians?

There are plenty of food options for vegetarians both on campus or off campus, in local cities and towns. For Indian students, there are plenty of Indian food stores.

What is the best time to apply?

Undergraduate and postgraduate courses for the September 2019 intake are now open for applications.

Divya Nair