In the dark ages, Ireland was a beacon of learning, and students from all around the continent would travel to study in Irish monasteries. Today, it continues that proud and historic tradition and for the last five decades Ireland has been a location of choice for students around the globe.
In the past three decades, successive Irish Governments have put a vast amount of resources into education and research. The reputation of Ireland’s higher education system has grown considerably, and its research is now making an international impact. US President Barack Obama has said that the Irish people are “among the best educated in the world”.
- Ireland is the only English-speaking country in the Eurozone.
- Ireland is a small, safe and friendly country ranked the 12th most peaceful place on Earth in 2013 by the Global Peace Index.
- Ireland has over 2,00,000 international students and accepts students for post graduation with 15 years of education.
- Ireland’s Higher Education Institutions have over 5,000 courses on offer.
- The Irish National Framework of Qualifications system facilitates the recognition of academic qualifications throughout Europe and internationally.
- The costs of studying in Ireland compare favourably with international options.
- While studying in Ireland, international students can even work part time for 20 hours a week.
- Ireland allows international graduates a period of one year to remain in the country in order to find a job or develop a business idea.
- Ireland is the second most attractive country globally for FDI.
- Ireland is a member of the European Union and just hours away from countless destinations of the United Kingdom and mainland Europe.
Ireland: An English Speaking Nation
According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review an increasing number of multinational companies, including Airbus, Daimler-Chrysler, Fast Retailing, Nokia, Renault, Samsung, SAP, Technicolor and Microsoft in Beijing, are establishing English as their common corporate language in order to facilitate communication across geographically diverse locations and business functions. English is now the global language of business. It is also the language of choice in the technology world.
Ireland is the only English-speaking country in the Eurozone, and that is one of the reasons why a large number of multinational companies locate their European base there. It also makes Ireland a great choice for international students.
Ireland is the country that gave the world Ulysses, Dracula and Gulliver’s Travels. Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature. Irish writers have had a revolutionary impact on English literature, and enriched the language with thousands of Irish-derived words and phrases. W. B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney have won Ireland four Nobel Prizes for Literature.
English also cements Ireland’s close ties with Britain and USA and its window on the world. According to Ernst & Young’s 2011 Globalisation Index, Ireland is the most globalised nation in the western world in term of GDPs, and, after Kong Hong, it is the world’s most globalised nation.
Ireland: "The friendliest nation in the world"
The Irish are renowned for their friendliness. In 2008 and 2010, Lonely Planet voted Ireland the friendliest nation in the world. The Global Peace Index, which rates 158 nations worldwide on measures such as conflict, safety and security in society and militarization, ranked Ireland the 12th most peaceful place on Earth in 2013. The same year, the OECD put Ireland in the top ten in its Better Life Index.
Ireland's higher education institutions are absolutely committed to ensuring that visiting students settle in to their new environment. All its higher education institutions have a designated staff member to whom international students can turn for any assistance.
But it is the Irish people that make studying in Ireland so special. Ireland has the youngest population in Europe, with 35% of its population under the age of 25 and a vibrant social scene to match.
A wide range of courses
Over the last thirty years, successive Irish Governments have put a tremendous amount of resources into education and research.
Ireland’s higher education institutions have over 5,000 courses on offer across the range of medicine, science, technology, engineering, business, law, languages, literature, history, philosophy, psychology, sociology and other humanities as well as the creative, visual and performing arts.
Degrees are available at ordinary and honours, Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate levels and one can also choose undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas over a variety of disciplines.
Globally recognized qualifications
Ireland is in the top-twenty worldwide for its higher education system, according to the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2013.
The Quality and Qualifications Ireland has developed a National Framework of Qualifications known as the NFQ system in order to put the learner in control. This 10-level framework enables comparison of different qualifications from different education institutions and ensures their recognition – both in Ireland and elsewhere.
Moreover the qualifications in the NFQ are quality assured. This means that the learner can have confidence that his/her course, and the institution at which he/she is studying, is reviewed on an continually by the Irish Government. Quality assurance is intended to ensure that all learners have a high quality learning experience regardless of where he/she is studying.
The Irish NFQ system is compatible with the ENIC-NARIC (European Network of Information Centres/National Academic Recognition Information Centres), which facilitates the recognition of academic qualifications throughout Europe and internationally in countries like the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Cost of Study
29,000 - 42,000€
9,100 - 20,300€
9,100 - 20,300€
9,100 - 16,500€
Art & Humanities
9,100 - 15,500€
Masters level cost app
9,100 - 12,000€
Additionally accommodation, living expenses, book & other miscellaneous expenditure would come around 6,000-8,000 €.
A small number of scholarships for international students to study in Ireland are available from the universities & colleges themselves.
Tuition is free for students from other EU/European Economic Area (EEA) countries, except for a contribution of (currently) €2,250 (£1,900) towards equipment, administration and examination.
Living and accommodation costs in Ireland are coming down again, which should benefit students.
Leading Global Companies
According to the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report, Ireland is now the second most entrepreneurial of the top 15 countries in Europe, with increasing numbers of people, especially women, starting new businesses.
Companies requiring a skilled, educated and highly capable workforce to drive their success choose to locate in Ireland.
In spite of a worldwide recession, Ireland continues to attract a vast amount of foreign direct investment. In fact, Ireland is the second most attractive country globally for FDI, after Singapore. Over 1,000 FDI giants in ICT, Social Media, Pharmaceuticals and Finance have made Ireland the hub of their European operations, with names such as Google, HP, Apple, IBM, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pfizer, GSK and Genzyme.
Eight of the world’s top ten ICT companies, eight of the world’s top ten pharmaceutical and life science companies, and half of the world’s major financial services companies are established in Ireland.
Eric Scmidt, Chairman of Google, has said their decision to locate in Ireland “is everything to do with the … workforce of geographically diverse, speaking multiple languages, creative young people coming out of [Ireland’s] top universities”.
A report 'Investing in Ireland’ shows that 97% of multinational companies plan on maintaining their current stake in Ireland. The survey, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit shows that the areas of financial services, technology and pharmaceuticals will account for the majority of new jobs.
Ireland also has a number of vibrant indigenous industries. Companies competing on the world stage include CRH, Smurfit Kappa, DCC, Glen Dimplex, Greencore, Kingspan, NTR and Paddy Power.
There is a vibrant software sector exporting mainly to the UK and the US. Ireland also has a natural competitive advantage in the food and drinks sector.
Ireland: Hours away from Mainland Europe
Ireland is located just off the west coast of Europe. This makes it an ideal gateway to a wide range of mini-break options for students who literally want to broaden their horizons in their spare time.
One can experience the rugged landscape of an island nation and still be just hours away from countless destinations of the United Kingdom and mainland Europe.
Cities like London (England), Glasgow (Scotland) and Cardiff (Wales) are all a one-hour flight away, while Paris (France), Prague (Czech Republic), Lisbon (Portugal) and Barcelona (Spain) are all within three hours travel time.
Ireland’s four main airports- Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Belfast regularly service dozens of international cities like these. There are also a number of regional airports that offer a slimmer schedule.
If one prefers sailing, daily crossings operate to the UK and France from ports along the east and south coasts of the country.
Most airlines and ferries offer various budget deals for return tickets abroad.