The country's USP
A factor that goes in Ireland’s favour is that in the country, university tuition fees and living expenses are lower than those in Britain. Moreover, it boasts of the same quality of education as its neighbour. However, Ireland had only 2,000 Indian students in 2005-06, the same as the previous year.
Ireland follows a three-tier system of quality and output. Government-aided universities are placed at the top, followed by Institutes of Technology and Independent Colleges.
Kieran Dowling, Ambassador of Ireland
"Ireland has one of the best education systems in the world according to the 2004 IMMD World Competitiveness Report.
Hot for what?
Indian students mainly study programmes in Business, Information and Communication Technologies and Engineering.
* University College, Cork: www.ucc.ie
* Dublin City University: www.dcu.ie
* Trinity College, Dublin: www.tcd.ie
* National University of Ireland, Galway: www.nuigalway.ie
* University of Limerick: www.ul.ie
This way to the Irish education highway…
Commencement of session: The session is on from September to June and is divided into either two or three semesters with vacations in December (Christmas) and April (Easter).
Most universities go by the semester system, in which modularisation has been introduced to provide greater flexibility for pupils.
When to apply: Launch the hunt for your desired university and programme in Class XII. Aspirants may apply from May onwards for admission to the next year’s academic session.
How to apply: Whereas European Union (EU) students can apply straight to the Central Application Office, non-EU students, including Indians, should contact individual universities or institutions directly.
Deadline: There is no specific deadline to send in your application.
Application processing time: The offer letter comes depending on when the application is sent. The application processing time can be as little as 24 hours on the spot, that is, at the Embassy, or as much as two months.
Application docket: In Ireland, candidates are selected for undergraduate programmes through a score system based on their school leaving certificates (SLC). For overseas pupils, too, the reference point is their SLCs, although some institutes may also ask them to take an online or written test in India, before their admissions are confirmed.
Standardised test scores: Irish institutes may insist on an IELTS score of at least 5.5 to assess a candidate’s proficiency in the English language.
Tuition fee: The annual tuition fee for an undergraduate programme varies from about € 6,000 to € 11,000. It can go up to € 35,000 for a medicine programme.
Cost of living: The living cost, on an average, is € 1,000 a month. Accommodation is cheaper outside Dublin.
Scholarships: The onus of finding a scholarship is entirely on an applicant, and for this, he will have to approach the universities himself.
Part-time jobs: In Ireland, students are allowed to work for up to 20 hours a week.
Student visa: Contact the visa office of the Embassy of Ireland. To facilitate the process of visa applications, the Embassy has opened visa application centres in Delhi, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Chennai, Kochi and Hyderabad.
Job opportunities: Irish degrees are well recognised the world over by leading employers. So, graduating students may look around for work avenues themselves.