The land of castles, also a popular destination for students from all over the world- Ireland is a small independent nation situated on the West Coast of Europe. Ireland is a member of the European Union since 1973. It has developed from being a predominantly agricultural economy in the 1950s to a thorough modern nation with a well-developed manufacturing and international service sectors having their presence in Ireland.
COURSES AND UNIVERSITIES
True Ireland MBA programs like ‘SMURFIT’ are among the top MBA programs in the world and not in the very reach of normal Indian student (work experience, GMAT scores and excellent academic background are the basic entry requirements). However there are good institutions that offer MBA/MBS programs in affiliation with universities outside Ireland, (especially UK). Computer Science, Civil/Construction engineering and other engineering disciplines, hospitality/tourism management, pharmacy, psychoanalysis etc. are the other popular programs which majority of the students opt for.
There are nine universities in Ireland – 2 in Northern Ireland and 7 in the Republic.
The University of Dublin, Trinity College (TCD), founded in 1592, is the oldest university in Ireland.
The National University of Ireland (NUI) is a federal institute consisting of four constituent universities; University College Dublin, National University of Ireland Dublin; University College Cork, National University of Ireland Cork; National University of Ireland Galway and National University of Ireland Maynooth.
NUI also has three recognised colleges: National College of Art and Design (NCAD), The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and St. Angela’s College of Education.
The University of Limerick (UL) and Dublin City University (DCU) are our newest universities and were founded in 1989.
The two universities in Northern Ireland are: the University of Ulster (UU) and the Queen’s University of Belfast (QUB).
The annual tuition fee varies from 8000 to 15,000 Euros (i.e. RS. 3 lakhs to Rs. 5 lakhs) depending on the program and institution. The approximate annual living expense of an Indian Student is projected as 6000 Euros.
An exact estimation about the cost of living of a student at Ireland may be difficult since no two people live in the same way. However for a nine-month academic year, in addition to course fees and other academic expenses an international student living in Ireland will need approximately € 9950.
University College Dublin (UCD) and Trinity College Dublin (TCD) make annual estimates for students living outside their family home. Their estimates for the academic year 2003-2004 were € 9036 and € 10 500 respectively. These figures include rent, electricity, food, books and laundry and medicine as well as travel and social life expenses.
These figures are near the minimum sum needed for a person to survive in Ireland. Costs can be higher or lower according to the way of life the person chooses to lead. Costs should be increased proportionately if you are calculating costs for a period of one full year.
A considerable amount of money is spent on accommodation since it is probably the largest item of expenditure for most students. The Accommodation Officer in your higher education institution can provide advice, as will the Student’s Union and other students. In addition to these sources of information, accommodation can be found in by contact with landlords, through information from other people leaving accommodation, through information boards in your place of study or through advertisements in the evening newspaper. Regarding accommodation the international students at Ireland has many options.
Students can obtain admission to the residence halls offered by the universities within the campus. They will be in the form of apartments for 6 to 8 students, with a private bedroom and shared kitchen, living room and bathroom. Average price of a room in a student block or ‘village’ is € 100 per week. Utilities such as lighting may be extra. One can live as a paying guest in an Irish home, where you have your own room with space to study, but otherwise share the house with the family. Morning and evening meals will be provided, but you will have to pay for a light midday meal on campus (about € 25 a week). There are no extra charges for heat, light etc., and some of your laundry will be done. An average weekly charge will be around € 95- € 120. Another option is choosing self-catering accommodation. A ‘flatlet’ (sometimes called a bedsit) will probably have its own mini-kitchen and shower, but this can vary. Prices range between € 380 – € 700 per month. You will have to pay deposits and connection charges for gas and/or electricity in self-catering accommodation.
For postgraduate programs most of the good universities prefer a first class or high second class. In the undergraduate level most of the good universities look for 60% or higher. There are special cases when a few students have been admitted to educational institutions with 2nd class.
Most of the institutions have only one intake that begins in September. Recently few institutions have started accepting students for February intake, but this is not available for all programs.
English Proficiency requirement : Since 2002 IELTS (International English language Testing System) or TOEFL is made mandatory for aspiring students, who want to get into the colleges or universities in Ireland. In the normal course of events an overall band of 6.0 is required for the postgraduate courses and 5.5 required for undergraduate courses and diplomas.
IELTS International English Language Testing System is normally known as IELTS which is administered by University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate (UCLES) , British Council and IDP Education Australia.
The score of IELTS is valid for 2 years. The test fee comprises Rs. 7900/. For more info visit the official website at www.britishcouncil.org or www.ieltsindia.com. Students can make registration either in person or by mail.
TOEFL TOEFL is Test of English as a Foreign Language. The test is conducted by ETS (Educational Testing Service) and the test fee is $130. Those who want to study in UK have to clear the test with definite scores.
The score is valid for 2 years and the score is sent to 4 universities by ETS free of cost at the time of exam. ETS charges additionally for scores sent to universities later. For more info visit the official website at www.toefl.org or www.ets.org
Student visa applications are processed by the Department of Justice, Dublin and aspiring students need to lodge their application through the Embassy of Ireland in New Delhi. In accordance with the Irish law a student aspiring to study in Ireland must pay the first year fees in full to the college/university before lodging the visa application. Under normal circumstances a personal interview is not required and to process the application it takes 7 to 8 weeks.
If you require an entry visa for Ireland and would like to study here, you will need to present the following with your Visa Application:
Copies of your educational qualifications.
Letter of acceptance from a recognised school/college/university confirming that you
have been accepted on a course of study. The course of study must be full time and have
a minimum of 15 hours per week study time.
Evidence that the fees have been paid in full.
Evidence that you have sufficient funds to maintain yourself for at least the initial part of your stay
Higher Education in Ireland consists of the universities (with associated colleges of education), institutes of technology, and a number of private independent colleges. The universities and institutes of technology are autonomous and self-governing, but are substantially state-funded.
Students are permitted to work 20 hours part time during semesters and full time during vacations. Fortunately Ireland has the lowest unemployment rate in Europe and it is quite obvious there will be great many opportunities for part time jobs. Students can expect to earn substantially to support their living expenses during studies. Also there are Sandwich courses (the course contain PAID JOB PLACEMENT), which help students to ‘earn while they learn’.
The students who wish to stay back and work after the completion of their studies need to apply for work permit. In the recent times Ireland has the lowest unemployment rate in the whole of Europe. Hence there are openings and opportunities especially for qualified computer/software professional, construction professionals and professional in the hospitality industry. Being the fastest growing economy in Europe, possibilities of obtaining work permits for qualified students are better, compared to other European Countries.
Ireland is a country which is renowned for the hospitality and friendliness of its people. Having developed from being a predominantly agricultural economy Ireland is now a thoroughly modern nation with well developed manufacturing and international services sectors and has the highest economic growth rate.
The island of Ireland is divided into two countries – the south which is officially known as The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, on the northern end of the island. Ireland embraces parliamentary democracy. The national parliament consists of the President and two Houses: a House of Representatives (Dáil Éireann) and a Senate (Seanad Éireann). The Committees of the State are exercised by, or on the authority of, the Government.
Culturally speaking, the Irish have a great impact on the world of literature. Ireland counts among its authors and poets the likes of Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, W. B. Yeats, Samuel Beckett and James Joyce.
Ireland is linked to Britain by a selection of ferry routes, served by large, modern vessels, all with drive-on/drive-off facilities. Similar ferry routes to and from France connect Ireland directly to Continental Europe. International airports at Ireland have regular flights to major British cities. Train service and bus service is common in Ireland for public transportation. Train services are usually quicker than bus services, especially on longer journeys. Irish Rail operates a ‘talking’ timetable phone service which is an automated summary of InterCity rail services.