HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014
‘Indian students are highly skilled’
Harini Sriram, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 11, 2013
First Published: 11:10 IST(11/12/2013)
Last Updated: 11:12 IST(11/12/2013)

University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland, has announced a range of scholarships exclusively for Indian students – the largest ever by any Irish university, so far, and it plans to continuously engage with Indian colleges through the setting up of its office in Delhi.

Ireland is emerging as a much sought-after education destination for Indian students lately, thanks to its relatively affordable tuition fee and cost of living. In this context, the University College Dublin (UCD), one of the largest universities in Ireland, is doling out a series of scholarships to Indian students who wish to study at the institute. As Jeremy Simpson, associate dean, international studies, UCD, points out, “We are offering about 100 scholarships, worth a grand total of 300,000 Euros, to Indian students who are looking to study at our college. This is the largest ever scholarship offered to Indian students by any Irish university. While some scholarships, like those offered by the Government of Ireland, give a 100% tuition fee waiver and a living stipend, there are others that cover only the tuition fee, and some that offer 25% or 50% waiver, and so on.”

He adds that the quality of Indian students, in campuses across Ireland, is very high. “This is our way of appreciating Indian students and encouraging more such students to choose our university,” he adds. Over the years, the number of Indian students in Irish universities has increased manifold. “For the last two to three years, we have been actively promoting Ireland as a quality education destination, and we have seen a 400% rise in the number of Indian students, during that period alone,” adds Simpson. “Indian students are highly skilled and we find them doing exceedingly well in sciences and in information technology (IT), specifically. There is a huge shortage of qualified IT professionals in Ireland and we would like Indian students to fill this gap,” he says.

There are a plethora of reasons why Indian students prefer universities in Ireland. One of the main reasons, explains Simpson, is the fact that it offers quality education at an affordable price. That apart, Ireland offers many advantages to Indian students, including a vibrant student life, an English-speaking environment and a greater quality of life.

UCD has close to 25,000 students, out of which 5,000 are international students, with Indians accounting for around 260 students. “Students can choose any combination of subjects; they could pair biotechnology with business, nanoscience with arts, and so on. The possibilities are endless. We believe that flexibility is the most important aspect of our programmes,” explains Simpson.

“We want to facilitate positive interactions with the Indian student community and Indian universities. We have signed MoUs with Delhi University to encourage student exchange programmes, research collaborations, and the like. We also offer online courses to students across countries,” he adds.
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There is a huge shortage of qualified IT professionals in Ireland and we would like Indian students to fill this gap ----Jeremy Simpson, associate dean, international studies, University College Dublin

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