The Ireland Education Diaries

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Madhura Sansare gets into the details of Ireland Education to give you a complete insight into the education in the country, and why you should definitely consider pursuing it

Think Ireland, and a picturesque image of snow-clad mountains, charming towns, bustling cities and mythical leprechauns comes to mind. Fantastical as it may be, Ireland has a lot more  to offer. Now we understand how you can never think of education when you think of Ireland, but with the wide range of noteworthy universities situated in this magical city, education can easily be considered as one of its
major selling points.
Those who study in Ireland have the chance to not only pursue a fabulous education that will surely add a feather to their educational hats, but they also have the chance to fall in love with the rich cultural heritage of the country. A country known for its friendly people, magnificent culture and diverse natural landscapes, it is no wonder that Ireland has produced some of the world’s most internationally renowned scholars, poets and writers.

TrinityCollegeDublin
STUDENT CITIES IN IRELAND

Student life is a popular part of Ireland’s culture. And considering the large number of students residing in its major cities due to the number of colleges placed there, we are not surprised.
DUBLIN: With the greatest concentration of universities and colleges presiding in the Irish capital, Dublin is one of the biggest student-dominated cities in the country. It is also a popular city-break destination, with a wide range of things to do and see in the city. Students can stroll around admiring the fabulous medieval architecture, retracing the steps of eminent novelists, or they can discover the meaning of ‘craic’ – a popular Irish term meaning fun times in good company – at a visit to the Guinness Brewery. Sure, Dublin is an expensive city to live in, with living costs far higher here than anywhere else in the country. But if you look at it from an international standpoint, Dublin doesn’t even come in the list of the world’s most expensive student destinations. Besides, it certainly gives back more than it takes.
The west-coast city is home to a number of universities which include University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University and Dublin Institute of Technology. One of the world’s leading medical schools, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland also has a home in Dublin.
GALWAY: Residing on the east coast, Galway is parallel to Irish capital in all that it offers. With gorgeous beaches and a buzzing city center, Galway combines traditional and modern with a dose of the Irish for a perfect student experience. From cobbled streets to bright buildings and busy pubs with live music; Galway has it all. The harbour city is a hub for the arts and culture. Galway is home to reputed universities like the National University of Ireland and Galway Mayo Institute of Technology.
CORK: Located on the south coast of Ireland, Cork is well-known for its cultural activity. With a vibrant cultural life and charming historical architecture, this city gathers a lot of interest for students and tourists alike. From traditional pubs to a spectacular countryside, Cork has it all. Prestigious universities like University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology can be found here.
UNIVERSITIES IN IRELAND
Ireland life is definitely one of the major selling points of the country, but for a student, education is a mandatory selection criteria to consider when choosing where to study abroad. And Ireland takes the cake with education just as well as it does with culture.
TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN: Ireland’s oldest higher education institute, Trinity College Dublin was established in 1592 and is one of the seven ‘ancient universities’ in UK and Ireland combined. Modelled after the esteemed Oxford and Cambridge Universities, it is the only constituent college of the University of Dublin. Ranked 78th in the world, Trinity College Dublin is currently the most prestigious university in Ireland. The University has three main faculties; Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Engineering, Mathematics and Sciences; and Health Sciences.
University College Cork
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK: University College Cork is the third-ranked Irish higher education institute. It was officially renamed to National University of Ireland, Cork in 1998, but it still widely known as University College Cork, or UCC. With an enrolment of around 20,000 students, it has around 3000 international students representing more than 100 nationalities. It was also the first university in the world to receive the International Green Flag for environmental sustainability.
National University of Ireland, Galway: With more than 17,000 students enrolled currently, the university is undergoing a €400 million redevelopment program. The university prides itself on its wide and unusual range of courses, including a BSc in Podiatry (is a branch of medicine devoted to the study of diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower extremity) and a BE/MEng in Sport and Exercise Engineering.
DUBLIN BUSINESS SCHOOL: Specialising in career focused business and law education as well as education programmes in arts, media, social science, humanities and psychology, Dublin Business School is one of the acclaimed independent colleges in Ireland. Their courses are designed in collaboration with industry and professional bodies. One of the most fascinating innovations by DBS is DBS Advantage, which gives students the opportunity to engage in a development programme that runs parallel to the students’ academic studies. With a student population of 9000 students, DBS offers over 100 accredited programmes.
DUBLIN CITY UNIVERSITY: The University was established in 1975, but gained university status in 1989. Ranked at 353 in the world, the University has a student population of 12000, including a 1000 students enrolled in distance education courses. So now that you know all you need to know to study at an Irish University, it is also important to consider what the Irish universities look for in the students.
We spoke to Trinity College Dublin, and Dublin Business School regarding what a student should keep in mind while considering an education in Ireland.

Ronan Hodson TCD
Ronan Hudson, Regional Officer for India at Trinity College Dublin, talks about what studying in Ireland is all about.

WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A STUDENT APPLYING FOR YOUR UNIVERSITY?
As the highest ranked university in Ireland, and in the top 100 internationally, admission to Trinity is competitive. Applicants will require a strong academic record and a keen interest in their chosen subject area. Trinity is also a thriving scholarly community, famous for its ancient societies and vibrant extracurricular activities, and is especially well suited to students with varied interests and passions.
DO YOU OFFER PLACEMENT OPTIONS FOR YOUR STUDENTS? WHAT TYPE OF EMPLOYERS DO YOU USUALLY HAVE FOR PLACEMENTS?
Many of our professional courses offer paid internships as part of the degree programme. As Ireland’s number one university, Trinity graduates are the most highly sought-after by employers, thus making Trinity the only Irish university in the 2015 Global Employability University Rankings.

DBS. Picture by Shane O'Neill / Copyright Fennell Photography 2014.
Cliona OBeirne, Director of Marketing & Admissions at Dublin Business School, says the students’ all-round ability is important for studying in Ireland.
WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A STUDENT APPLYING FOR YOUR UNIVERSITY?
We are looking for students with great academic ability that can be translated in to successful career. Students with critical thinking, passion for & intellectual commitment to the course applied and motivation to pursue the same. We would also be looking for students that are enthusiastic to participate in extracurricular activities that include sports, literary & social activities. We believe in development of students’ all-round ability.
DO YOU OFFER PLACEMENT OPTIONS FOR YOUR STUDENTS? WHAT TYPE OF EMPLOYERS DO YOU USUALLY HAVE FOR PLACEMENTS?
In terms of placements, we have a placement cell/Career service office that conducts in-house job fairs at DBS campus. Our Career Service Department gives guidance on career research, selection, self assessment, CV preparation, interview techniques, employability skills, writing a cover letter and so on to help you find a job. Some of the employers that our graduates work for include City Group, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Ebay, Accenture, AIB Bank, Bank of Ireland, KPMG, Yahoo, Oracle, Twitter, HP Ireland, Amazon, Deloitte, IBM, Nokia Ireland, SAP, and E&Y to name a few.

Santhosh Balasa
We speak to 27 year old Santhosh Balasa, a Python Developer at the Irish company Ammeon about his experience in Ireland. He completed his MEng in Computer and Communications Systems from the University of Limerick in 2013, and has since worked at IBM in Dublin, before moving to his current job.
WHAT IS THE USP ABOUT THE COUNTRY AS FAR AS EDUCATION IS CONCERNED?
Ireland has very low corporate tax, around 12%. Thus most of the blue chip companies have established their offices in Ireland. Also, Ireland is one of the largest software exporting hubs after the US. All these factors have placed Ireland in an important position, where software opportunities are lucrative.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE OF STUDYING IN AN IRISH UNIVERSITY?
My experience was absolutely amazing. Apart from digital notes and assignments, the professors gave us practical challenges to solve, which really enhanced my thinking, also encouraging out-of-the box thinking. I believe that is what enhanced my skills

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Like Santhosh, Neha Thethi too has stayed on in Ireland after her studies at the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown. She’s currently working as an Information Security Analyst at BH Consulting in Dublin.
WHAT IS THE USP ABOUT THE COUNTRY AS FAR AS EDUCATION IS CONCERNED?
According to me, the USP of Ireland is its location. It offers great opportunities for people working in the IT sector. Some of the best tech companies, including Amazon, Apple, Cisco, Dell, Google, IBM, HP, Microsoft, and Twitter have their offices in Ireland. That also includes top security companies—for instance, antivirus companies like McAfee and Symantec.
There are also several security conferences and training programmes organised here all year round. Some conferences such as IRISS organise a Capture the Flag competition too which helps students sharpen their security skills.
HOW IS THE COMPETITION LEVEL? HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE OF STUDYING IN A FOREIGN UNIVERSITY?
The competition level is great as there are students from all across the globe. Moreover, if you are a fresher, you may also compete against students with several years of industry experience. For me, it was an incredible learning experience. The lecturers here are very friendly and approachable. The course material outlined is quite practical and application oriented.

 

Volume 5 Issue 8

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