Published: 26th November 2019
Destination Ireland: Two-year stay-back option, scholarships and other reasons why you should study in the country
Making a case for Ireland as a destination for higher education, spokesperson of Education in Ireland Barry O’Driscoll highlights all the reasons why students should consider it
Ireland is quickly emerging as the preferred destination for higher education as it has seen notable growth of 86 per cent in international student exports. Barry O’Driscoll, Spokesperson of Education in Ireland, a national brand under the authority of the Minister for Education and Skills, credits this growth to a number of factors including the most lucrative, two-year stay-back option. Not to forget the fact that the warm and hospitable nature of Ireland makes it very welcoming for international students. We ask O’Driscoll why Indian students should opt for Ireland and what their future plans are. Excerpts:
In an age where Indian students are flooded with options, what would you say is unique about Ireland?
There are several exceptional factors studying in Ireland. The students can avail up to two years ‘stay-back’ option after completing their course at postgraduate level. This assures students the opportunity to remain in Ireland for a period of one year to seek employment in dynamic sectors such as ICT, biopharma, engineering, medical devices, food science and financial services. The prospect of having the valuable post-study work experience, makes Ireland a very fascinating option for the Indian students. The country offers exciting career opportunities for talented graduates as over 1,000 multinationals based in Ireland. The Irish HEI system offers over 200 merit-based scholarships and it offers directly from the HEIs, ranging from 10 per cent to 50 per cent fee waivers, across all disciplines.
What are some popular courses which Indians opt to pursue in Ireland?
It has been observed that many Indians are going for a master's degree because the advantage of doing a master’s in Ireland is that the postgraduates get a two-year stay-back option. This is actually a very unusual opportunity as this period provides ample time for postgraduates to look for careers in Ireland and other European countries for the long term. Some of the common courses include Engineering, Computing, Business, Language and Literature, Medical Courses, Nursing, and Social Sciences are popular courses which Indian students pursue in Ireland.
Recently, the interest in courses that focus on emerging technologies such as AI, AgTech, Data Analytics, and Cyber Security are swelling. The number of applications for courses such as humanities, design, communications and media have also surged.
Barry O’Driscoll, Spokesperson of Education in Ireland | (Pic: Education in Ireland)
What do you think you have been doing right to see so much growth with regards to the increase in the number of international students studying in Ireland?
Firstly, people in Ireland are very warm, friendly and welcoming literally towards everyone as according to the Global Peace Index, it is 12th ‘most peaceful country’ in 2019. Secondly, Ireland is one of the best providers of quality life and has a reputation for providing ease of doing business for visitors from abroad.
Now, why there is an increase in the number of international students is because the Irish education system is one of the best in Europe and its higher education systems are ranked 19th out of 50 countries. Ireland is globally recognised for its global standard, infrastructure and facilities for International students.
Apart from spreading the word about Ireland and its universities, what else are you doing to nurture the student community?
Irish higher education institutions are renowned for their huge range of on-campus clubs and societies. Students can get involved in an extensive variety of sporting and extracurricular activities. It is a great way for Indian students to make friends from all over the world and develop their non-academic skills.
What is the future for Education in Ireland? Any other events we can look forward to?
We organize Education in Ireland fairs all over India every year and just for your information, this year’s fair received almost 3,000 unique registrations.
Which industries in Ireland are best known for?
Ireland is the second-largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world. All top 10 global IT companies have their presence in Ireland. Also, nine of the top 10 global software companies have a strong foothold in Ireland. Global leaders such as Intel, HP, IBM, Microsoft and Apple have long-established operations in Ireland. The newer leading-edge giants such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, PayPal, eBay and Twitter are also in Ireland. Dublin is known for Europe's leading hub of innovative games companies with Big Fish, EA, Havok, DemonWare, PopCap, Zynga, Riot Games and Jolt all having a significant presence here.