July 2017 – Education Ireland MY

Monthly Archives: July 2017

Low fees and top universities: why Irish are studying abroad

Increasing numbers of Irish students are considering study options in Europe due to affordable fees, prestigious courses and easier entry requirements. Photograph: iStock

Thousands of college hopefuls have been scrambling to apply for third-level courses in Ireland in recent weeks.

But increasing numbers are looking further afield to Europe where affordable fees, prestigious courses and easier entry requirements are turning students’ heads.

The United Kingdom has traditionally been the location of choice for most Irish students who head outside the jurisdiction.

Several thousand typically apply for courses in Northern Ireland (particularly those living near the Border), Scotland (where Irish students pay no fees) and England, despite the £9,000-plus (€12,500) yearly fees.

But the impact of Brexit and uncertainty surrounding fees means more students are looking at study options for courses taught through English in countries further afield such as the NetherlandsDenmarkPoland and Germany.

Some of the attractions for Irish students are obvious: cheaper accommodation, exposure to other cultures and a chance to study in European universities ranked higher than Irish colleges.

Eligible Irish students can also take their State-awarded grant with them and may work at a part-time job. About 1,500 third-level students from Ireland in receipt of State-funded grants are studying in colleges abroad.

Guy Flouch, head of the European University Central Application Support Service, says points pressure in Ireland is a key factor driving students to consider studying abroad.

Increasingly common

Mr Flouch said when he attended the recent Higher Options fair in the RDS last year, guidance counsellors were approaching him saying studying abroad is becoming mainstream.

“It is becoming an increasingly common option especially in the wake of Brexit where Irish students are much less interested in Ucas, the portal for studying in British universities,” he says.

“One of the factors there is fear is come year three or four they may have to pay international fees as Britain will be outside the EU.”

Almost 900 degree programmes across all disciplines are taught through English in Europe. Many – though not all – are cheaper than studying in Ireland.

No fees apply in Germany, Scandinavia, Sweden and Finland. In AustriaSwitzerland and Belgium fees are usually less than €1,000 a year.

In the Netherlands, fees of €1,984 apply (where more than 40 per cent of these programmes are offered), but students can get a loan to cover this, paying it back over 35 years.

Europe also offers top-quality universities with many such as Utrecht and Leiden (the Netherlands), Gottingen (Germany) and Lund (Sweden), which rank higher than Irish universities.

Securing a place in college can be a lot easier than through the CAO. The barriers to entry are set lower and there is a strong focus on third level being accessible to everyone, regardless of academic achievements.

“The overwhelming philosophy in mainland Europe is that students have a right to an education therefore they don’t do points,” says Mr Flouch.

“They can go to universities that are higher ranking than ours to do courses such as psychology, law, physiotherapy or business.”

Comes with a caveat

If getting into a top university with fewer points may sound like it’s too good to be true, it comes with a caveat.

“I tell students, you play hard but you must work hard too,” says Mr Flouch. “ It is easy to get in but I tell students you have to work hard once you get in there. These are some of the top universities in Europe.

“There is no repeating of years. You’re expected to get 45 out of 60 credits, take part in problem-based learning and show up for all your lectures and tutorials,” he says.

They are sentiments shared by students themselves. Karl Wolfe (20), who is studying physiotherapy in Fontys University in Eindhoven, says his course is highly demanding.

“The course is quite intense with a lot of study hours and project work to do but it doesn’t feel like hard work when you love what you are studying,” he says.

Sarah McClafferty (24) from Donegal, who is studying veterinary medicine at Warsaw University of Life Sciences, says the workload is “huge”.

“It is quite hard to adjust to a brand new lifestyle and culture especially for the younger students who are just straight out of school.”

Students who find it difficult to cope do end up dropping out of courses. Mr Flouch insists these rates tend to be low because international students tend to have done more research on course demands.

Individual universities tend to attract Irish students for highly-regarded courses.

Physiotherapy at Hanze University Groningen in the Netherlands has attracted about 15 Irish students, while veterinary science at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland is so popular about half of its first-year class are Irish.

Meanwhile, psychology, law, business, medicine and other subjects at the University of Groningen have attracted about 80 Irish students.

Hungary and the Czech Republic are also popular destinations for students who want to do medical courses, though some colleges can charge hefty tuition fees.

Italy, too, is growing in popularity with medical students, with seven public universities in Italy that offer medicine through English.

Denmark is another popular destination as there are no fees and free healthcare for EU students.

Overall, he says the majority of Irish students flourish in a variety of ways while studying abroad.

“The levels of self-confidence and self-esteem and independence they get is a skill set employers really see,” he says.

“They are self-sufficient and living abroad – meeting challenges and succeeding. It impacts positively for the rest of their lives,” he says.

Case study: ‘It is quite hard to adjust to a brand new lifestyle and culture’

Sarah McClafferty (24), from Donegal, is studying veterinary medicine at Warsaw University of Life Sciences.

“It was always been my dream to become a veterinary surgeon,” she says. “I worked as a veterinary assistant last year, which I absolutely loved and decided to follow my dream and studying in Poland seemed perfect as I always wanted to travel.

“The application process itself, for studying abroad is quite straight forward. You then have to sit an entrance exam which is basically just higher-level chemistry and biology.”

She says she doesn’t have time to do a part-time job because of the workload. She is entitled to a student grant, however, and her parents assist with tuition fees.

While the course is taught exclusively in English, students must learn animal anatomy in Latin, the universal language of medical terminology.

She says studying in Poland differs significantly from studying in Ireland.

“It is quite hard to adjust to a brand new lifestyle and culture especially for the younger students who are just straight out of school,” she says.

“All our exams are continuous assessments which means we have to start doing exams almost immediately.”

She says studying abroad was a big decision, but one she is happy with.

“The experiences I have had in the last few months have been a learning curve but I’m enjoying it thoroughly and I am even starting to learn Polish, which we are given classes on.”

Homesickness isn’t too much of an issue given there are more than 30 Irish students in her class.

“It’s pretty much like a home away from home with all the Irish that are here and they have even got their own Gaelic team.”

Ireland offers affordable tertiary education options

Photo shows the Trinity College Dublin campus.

KUCHING: Ireland remains the world’s most affordable destination for tertiary education.

Visionary Education Consultancy (VEC) director Anna Cher said there is still a lack of awareness among many East Malaysians about Ireland’s tertiary options even though it is a friendly country with highly-established and world-renowned universities.

“Some universities and institutes of technology even subsidise or provide free on-campus accommodation for Malaysian students. Some are also offering scholarships for eligible students.

“Tuition fees per year is about 9,000 euros for most institutions, while rental is about 250 euros per month, depending on the area. These are considerably cheap if compared to other Western countries like United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada,” she told reporters.

She pointed out that Malaysian students do not need a visa to study there.

“Also, they are allowed to remain in Ireland up to one year after graduation under what is known as the Graduate Work Visa Scheme,” she added.

VEC is authorised by the Irish Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to recruit students who are interested to further their studies in Ireland.

The next intake for universities and institutes of technology will be January.

“Students can come to us with their SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) or Cambridge O level forecast results and we will help them with the enrolment. They will start their foundation studies in January, which takes seven months to complete.
After that, they will enter undergraduate programmes in September.

“Admission requirement is a minimum of five credits in SPM or Cambridge O levels including Mathematics and English,” Cher explained.

Well-known Irish tertiary institutions are Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin, National University of Ireland Galway, University of Limerick, Cork Institute of Technology, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Carlow and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

VEC also provides similar consultancy services for Swiss College of Hotel Management Lenk (SHML) in Switzerland and International Aviation Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Studying in Ireland – An Unforgettable Experience

Studying in Ireland - An Unforgettable Experience | Study and Go Abroad

Increasing numbers of Canadian students are making the decision to study in Ireland each year – and they have good reason to!

Ireland is a beautiful island, combining contemporary modern cities with an unspoilt countryside, cityscapes steeped in history, and a rich natural habitat. Renowned for friendliness, our safe, English-speaking country offers the warmest of welcomes to students from all over the world. At any one time there are 5,000 Canadians living in Ireland!.

Reasons to study in Ireland

  1. Ireland is a friendly and safe country – with a hospitable and welcoming nation of people.
  2. English-speaking country – Ireland is the only English-speaking country in the Eurozone with close cultural, economic and educational links with North America and the UK.
  3. Internationally Recognised Qualifications and Extensive Choice – Students can choose from an extensive range of courses to meet their needs in colleges and universities recognized for their excellence worldwide.
  4. Supportive Learning Environment – Dedicated international offices work closely with academic, administrative, and specialist staff to fully support students throughout their time in Ireland.
  5. Innovative and Creative Culture – Ireland is known for its entrepreneurial society: Eight of the world’s top ten ICT companies and nine of the top ten Pharmaceutical companies have their European base in Ireland.
  6. Distinguished Graduates – Ireland’s graduates are innovators, leaders and ambassadors for excellence all around the world. Qualifications earned and connections made in Ireland deliver a passport to success and a high rate of employability after college.
  7. Leading Global Companies in Ireland – Companies who require a skilled, educated and highly capable workforce to drive their success choose to locate in Ireland; including Google, Facebook, Pfizer, Apple and Intel.
  8. Gateway to Europe – Ireland is a gateway to Europe. Many students who study in Ireland take time during their school holidays to visit the UK, France, Spain, Italy, and other European countries just a stone’s throw away.

As well as this, Ireland has a worldwide reputation for high quality education which is built on the solid foundation of commitment to excellence. Ireland is ranked 1st in Europe for graduates per 1000 of population.

Popular sought-after programs

Current Canadian students in Ireland are studying across a number of different disciplines. Popular programs to date include:

  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Travel, Tourism and Hospitality
  • Construction Management
  • Renewable Energy
  • Business – Marketing, HR, Management, Accounting
  • Social Care
  • Early Childhood Care & Education
  • Public Affairs and Policy Management
  • Medicine
  • Graduate Entry Medicine

The Education in Ireland website has a very useful ‘What Can I Study?’ function. Students can type in their preferred subject, which level (undergraduate or postgraduate), and where in Ireland they would like to complete their studies. A list of possible universities and colleges is generated, with further information on the institution and the selected course of study if you follow the links.

Research in Ireland

Ireland is making a marked and growing impact in every research field it is engaged in. Irish universities are now in the top 1% of research institutions in the world in 18 fields, spanning natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities. Ireland is ranked 20th in the world for overall international scientific citations per paper – a remarkable achievement for such a small country.

As a country, Ireland is currently ranked 18th across all fields, having risen from 36th in 2003. In terms of research, Ireland ranks:

  • 1st in the world for Immunology
  • 1st in the world for Animal & Dairy
  • 3rd in the world for Nano-Sciences
  • 4th in the world for Computer Science
  • 6th in the world for Material Science

Student Ambassadors

Education in Ireland has a number of student ambassadors who regularly post blogs about their experiences abroad. I caught up with some of them earlier in the year and they were all very positive about their decision to study in Ireland:

‘’When I decided on leaving Canada to finish my undergraduate degree in Ireland, I didn’t really know what to expect. I hadn’t researched much on the country but I thought that the international experience would look good on my résumé. Little did I know that I was in for one of the best times of my life!

Studying in Ireland opened up doors that allowed for me to further develop skills that employers are looking for today. It not only provided me with a degree, but I was also fortunate enough to find employment in Ireland upon graduating.’’ (Cameron Bradley, Waterford)

‘’I chose Ireland because it offered a chance to gain further education in my field of study, while providing a unique opportunity for international experience. To date, I have enjoyed my studies, while taking advantage of various opportunities CIT has provided to explore the culture and landscape of Ireland.’’ (Stephen Hotke, Cork – also in photo is Canadian ambassador Joel Frederick Foster)

‘’Since coming to Tralee, the world has become a lot smaller to me. I have been introduced to new possibilities and ways of life, and can honestly say I have learned a lot from the experience. Ultimately, I would recommend studying abroad to anyone who is interested in taking on a challenge – it can lead to great rewards.’’ (Chloe Logan, Tralee)

‘’Through the International Society, I have a concrete network of fellow students who are going through both similar and vastly different experiences. We are able to laugh at the embarrassing confusions and miscommunications that frequently happen. We are able to find support and comfort when our situation seems overwhelming. And we are able to exchange our enthusiasm and passion for adventure and exploration.’’ (Kelli Brenton, NUI Maynooth)

Colleges Ontario – Institutes of Technology Ireland Agreement

Since 2012, a new agreement has been in place between the Colleges of Ontario and the Institutes of Technology in Ireland, which enables graduates of a two-year diploma in Ontario to study in Ireland for a further two years, receiving an honours degree upon completion. In some cases, Ontario students can earn their honours degree with just one additional year of study. This option is available across many disciplines of study. Tuition is set at a fixed sum of €7,500, students are still eligible for OSAP, and no work permit is required for up to 20 hours part-time work per week. (For more information, visit www.ioti.ie)


L’Irlande est un pays magnifique de gens chaleureux, sympathiques et accueillants. De plus, l’Irlande a une réputation mondiale pour l’éducation de haute qualité. Vous ne regretterez jamais un séjour passé sur l’île d’émeraude ! Pour en savoir plus, n’hésitez pas à contacter Ciara Halliday :


Tuition Fees and Living Costs for International Students in Ireland

Ireland is a welcoming island with cosmopolitan cities and a strong history related to literature. The government is annually investing around 870 million EUR in research in higher education and also encourages international student scholarships. The country has nine prestigious universities and 15 technological institutes that welcome around 35,000 international students from 161 countries.

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The impact of research in Ireland is visible in natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. The international environment is visible in this English-speaking country that matches the charm of the UK, while keeping costs close to European averages.

Find more information below about the university tuition fees, living costs and scholarship opportunities for international students in Ireland.

1. University tuition fees in Ireland

EU/EEA students can study for free

The undergraduate degree courses in Ireland are, usually, free for citizens of Ireland/EU. However, in order to benefit from the “free fees initiative”, you have to apply for the funding governmental programme and prove that you are eligible(e.g.: you apply for the first time, and your chosen programme lasts more than two years).

Nationality, immigration status, residence and course requirements are also criteria that can qualify you for a tuition-free university degree.

However, all students have to pay around 2,500 EUR/year for student services, such as examination entries and support for clubs and societies.

Tuition fees for non-EU students
  • Undergraduate courses 9,000 – 45,000 EUR/year for undergraduate degree courses.
  • Postgraduate Master and PhD courses: 9,150 – 37,000 EUR/year.

Fees vary depending on your chosen field of study, programme and university.

Ireland living costs.jpg

Most affordable universities in Ireland

Check the list of Irish universities with the most affordable tuition fees for EU/EEA students:

  1. University of Limerick– average tuition fees 7,000-8,000 EUR/year.
  2. University College Cork– average tuition fees 6,500 EUR/year.
  3. Cork Institute of Technology– average tuition fees 3,500 EUR/year.
  4. St. Patrick’s College– average tuition fees 4,500 EUR/year.
Tuition fees at top-ranked universities

Here is a list of average tuition fees at the top-ranked Irish universities:

  1. Trinity College Dublin– average tuition fees 7,500 EUR/year.
  2. University College Dublin– average tuition fees 6,700 EUR/year.
  3. National University of Ireland, Galway– average tuition fees 6,000 EUR/year.
  4. Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland– average tuition fees 6,000-8,000 EUR/year.

Take note that usually, non-EU/EEA students will have to pay double the tuition charged to EU students.

2. Student living costs in Ireland

Ireland is a country where you will enjoy a balanced lifestyle. Living costs are a bit below average for the European area. Total living costs for an international student are around 600 – 873 EUR/month.

Average living costs in Irish cities:

  • Dublin and Cork: you will pay 730 – 873 EUR/month (without the accommodation costs)
  • Galway and other smaller cities: 600 – 700 EUR/month

Check out a detailed list of prices and estimates on living costs in Ireland!

Accommodation costs in Ireland

Accommodation plays a major role when it comes to expenses as a student in Ireland. This means students spend around 38% of their total monthly budget on housing.

Universities accommodation in residence halls usually costs above the European average of 200 – 300 EUR. Only 12% of the total international students enjoy accommodation in student halls, according to a European study. However, 72% of them are satisfied with the rooms and services.

Apart from residence halls, you can rent/share an apartment or choose home stay housing.

The main accommodation prices for students in Ireland are:

  • Student living alone: 414 EUR/month
  • Student living with partner/child: 470 EUR/month
  • Student living on campus: 375 EUR/month
Other costs associated with accommodation

During your stay in Ireland, you will also pay for:

  • Utilities: around 153 EUR/month
  • Internet pass: up to 100 EUR/month
Food costs

Average monthly food costs are not high, these may cost around 240 EUR/month for grocery shopping. You can find cheaper food products in supermarkets such as Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Dunnes or Superquinn.

You can also dine in a small restaurant and pay 15 EUR or enjoy a three-course meal for two in an average restaurant for 55 EUR.

Ireland costs.jpg

Transportation costs

Students from Ireland can benefit from discounts for transportation especially if they use the Student Leap Cardor the Bus Éireann services to travel around the country.

Around 27% of the students use public transport in Ireland and a monthly pass with a special discount for students is around 50 – 55 EUR/month.

The most popular mode of transportation is the bicycle, chosen by 38% of the students. You can rent a bicycle to get around the city; rates start from 20 EUR/day.

Extra costs

Some other small expenses you may need during your study:

  • books, research magazines: 70 EUR/month
  • medical insurance: 45 EUR/month

3. Funding & student support

While you study in Ireland you also have the chance to find some possibilities to support yourself financially. Here are some scholarship examples:

a) 15 undergraduate scholarships: awards are 6,000 EUR/each student

b) 11 postgraduate scholarships: awards are 10,000 EUR/each student

After you have all the information packed, get ready for a unique study experience in Ireland!


Image result for student life in irelandIreland is an increasingly popular destination for student from all over the world. The friendliness and hospitality for which Irish people are renowned ,must have been the factor that contributed to the ease with which overseas students adapt to the way of life and in particular, the student  life. Around 10% of students in higher institution in Ireland are from overseas and over Eighty (80) countries are represented in the international student population. The very good thing about this is that students are welcome from different parts of the world irrespective of their continent. China,Malaysia,France,USA,Nigeria,Botswana,Ethiopia,Uganda,Pakistan,Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Serbia, Germany, Peru, Congo, Cameroon to mention but a few are some of the countries in this partnership. For a student to get into Ireland you have to get a visa from the Irish embassy of your home country. This visa will only read study visa and with it you have only three months to stay in Ireland after which between  these three months you have go and  register at the Immigration and get a certificate card inform of  identity  popularly known in Ireland as “Garda National Immigration Bureau” (GNIB) Card. Having got this card you are now entitles to stay in Ireland for just one year. If your study is more than a year you have to renew this card every year. This card is only to be given if you have been able to prove that you have sufficient money in your account as a student, a valid international passport, your student I.D card, a proof that you have been insured either privately or by your scholarship sponsors and you will pay the sum of one hundred and fifty (150) Euros. After this you are free to move around the city and to do some other necessary registration. For instance, if you want to work you can only be employed by any organisation with your Personal public service (PPS) Number. This will be issued to you by the Department of Social and Family Affairs after they have demanded for your “GNIB” card and your international passport. Students are only permitted to engage in casual employment for up to 20 hours per week during school terms and up to 40 hours per week during school holidays. If you are from African countries and you want to travel within your years of studies to any country you have to send your passport to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform to request for multiple visa as the initial visa issued to you will only be on a single journey .You will have to submit your passport and your “GNIB” card again and you will pay the sum of one hundred (100) Euros for it. But student from Botswana, the European countries and some parts of Asia like Malaysia are exempted from this.


There are nine (9) 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 Higher institution 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.

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 two newest Universities in Ireland are: The University of Limerick (UL) and Dublin City University (DCU) which were founded in 1989. The two universities in Northern Ireland are: the University of Ulster (UU) and the Queen’s University of Belfast (QUB). There are currently 14 Institutes of Technology located throughout the Republic offering programmes at degree, national diploma and national certificate levels in a wide variety of subjects. Their qualifications are externally validated by Ireland’s national certification authority, which ensures that their qualifications reach the highest international standards. Many of the Institutes of Technology also run postgraduate diploma and degree programmes, both taught and research. There are five Colleges of Education for primary school teachers. These colleges offer three year full time courses leading to a B.Ed degree which is the recognised qualification for primary school teaching.


Generally life in Ireland as a student is relatively interesting depending on the type of Area and type of person you are. To get started you can get a Student accommodation as low as fifty (50) Euros per week and as high as one hundred and fifty (150) Euros per week depending on where you choose to stay. Also the means of transportation ranges from Bus, car to train but if you are travelling across the state flight are also available. Out of all these the buses are the cheapest. The buses are just one Euro Sixty cent (1.60) within the city and you can easily get them in the city centres .Taxi cab are also available but they may be expensive a little bit for a student as some of them charge per km. To enjoy your studentship more when travelling you can try to get your International Student Identity Card (ISIC) issued by (UNESCO) in conjunction with the ISIC Association. You will get this by paying only thirteen (13) Euros with your recent passport, as this will allow you to benefit from some discount given to travelling students internationally. In terms of shopping there are many places to do this if you really want relatively cheap food items you will visit the like of ALDI ,LIDL, Tesco, Supervalu, English market  and so on. For some designers you may check these shops out: Brown Thomas, River Island, Timberland, T.K Max and Debenhams. Michael Guiney’s and Penny’s are good for some beddings and household materials while you can easily get your electronics like computer, Radio sets, Television sets, clippers, wall clock, camera and so on in  Argos, Sony centre, Expert and P.C. world. Finally if you are the flexi type you can go to pubs to enjoy yourself or buy some wines in places like Hillbilly’s with the Acronym (Buy one get one free).It is good for you to also target the time of sales or promos in shops like Michael Guiney’s and penny’s as you will be saving a lot of money during these periods.


The structure of all the institutions in Ireland is wonderful and all the facilities needed in a higher institution are provided such as a big library, computer centres, resource room, and administrative blocks. Virtually all the lecture theatres are spacious and have a power point projector that makes it easy for the lecturers to deliver their messages and for the student to enjoy the lecture condition. Lecturers bring the photocopy of what they have in the slide so as to make it more understandable when lecturing. Academic in all Ireland Institution are okay. Irrespective of the institution you choose you will enjoy your studies there, provided you are ready to study and work hard because there is no room for laziness and student are not allow to be idle, as essay and assignments are given to student at interval with a deadline for submission of which if you failed to meet you have to face the consequences. But one good thing is that all the lecturers in all the institutions are very good, knowledgeable, approachable and ever ready to assist and give you the necessary support if you are not feeling shy. Likewise the students in all the schools are ready to work with you because a lot of international students are there for you to share experience with and some of the Irish students have also travelled out of the country and have some ideas and experience of other cultures.

CAMPUS LIFE: The student union of each institution also organised their own welcome party for the new student and they offer some necessary information that will make the life in campus conducive for the entire student especially the international students. They will give you a welcome pack which will contain some writing materials and your calendar or wall planner for the academic session. Orientation week and some party weeks will be organised for you as well. There are some societies in the campus that you can join depending on your interest. It is good to join one or two societies so as for you to be able to utilize your talent and make yourself relaxed. Some students also organised class party but not in all cases.