Many students give up on their dreams to study abroad, especially in Europe due to the rising costs, both in terms of tuition fees and daily expenditure. The exchange rate that continues to see-saw creatures another stumbling block. But there is indeed hope for those who still want to get there. How, you may ask? Well, welcome to Ireland. There are many reasons why this would be the perfect tertiary destination for you, so do read on and decide for yourself.
C.K. Chiau, or as he likes to be called, CK, has more than 15 years of experience in helping students decide on their futures. Now, heading his very own team at Education in Ireland, with the blessing of the Irish government themselves, he tells us the top reasons why every Malaysian should consider studying there.
Why study in Ireland?
No Visa Required for Malaysian Students to Study in Ireland
Yup, that’s right. No complicated and mind numbing visa processes to follow. No expensive fees to be paid to receive the aforementioned visa. No visa, period. Utter bliss.
Fast Track Route to a Degree
While Ireland accepts almost all pre-u programmes from Malaysia, including STPM, matriculation and some local diploma programmes, they have their very own unique foundation programme, which takes just 9 months. Catered for students who have just completed their SPM and are looking for the fastest pre-u course available, the Foundation in Ireland has intakes as early as January. For those of you who wonder if you will have to wait for your real SPM results to release to apply, fret not! The programme accepts forecast results as well. Through this fast track route, upon completion, students can enrol in the Degree programme immediately during the September intake, making sure no time is wasted.
Credit Transfer Courses
Malaysian Diploma graduates with a good CGPA, can proceed to Ireland to their 3rd year of Degree studies, a highly sought after option if cost is the biggest issue in deciding whether to study overseas. Education in Ireland has an arrangement in place with TAR UC, as direct transfer with mapping of course syllabus with Irish Institutions been done. Diplomas from other colleges are of course subject to assessment and review by the respective universities. So, if you did the math, as an example (We used Accounting here):
2 years Diploma + 9 months Ireland Degree = Graduate with Accounting Degree with ACCA 9 paper exemptions.
While different universities and different courses would obviously have varying requirements, the general rule of thumb is:
• SPM: 5 credits
• A-Levels: 2 Credit Passes
• STPM: 2 Credit Passes
• Matriculation: Accepted but varies with university and course
Courses Fully in English
Courses in Ireland are all in ENGLISH. No need to learn a separate language to receive the perks that others do. If you do indeed WANT to learn a new language, then they make take up courses offered there such as International Business with different languages on offer such as Italian, German, Spanish and so on.
As they use the Euro, the government universities are still subsidised. The actual cost after all those subsidies? Starting from roughly RM40,000 a year, which is a bargain in any European country. With scholarships (many of which are offered to Malaysian students), it could go down to RM30,000 a year, which is reminiscent of fees at local universities. Of course, if you choose to study abroad, then there are other costs to keep in mind. The estimated cost of living is RM2,000 – RM2,500 per month, which equates to around RM30,000 per year (including meals), which comes up to a grand total of RM70,000 a year in total.
Remember the RM70,000 we calculated above. Well, that could potentially do down even lower, due to the fact that accommodation in Ireland is extremely close to the institutions. There is a variety of on-campus and off-campus accommodations that are all within walking distance that help students save on transportation fees. To top it off, Dundalk Institute of Technology, which is extremely close to Dublin and the Institute of Technology Tralee, offers FREE accommodation for the full 3 years of study to Malaysians.
Stay Back Policy
Ireland have a stay back policy for all international students who complete their studies there. For students who graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree, they’re given a full year to look for a secure a job so they may stay on and work in Ireland upon graduation. For Master’s students? They get a two full years to do the same.
Good Post-Graduation Opportunities
CK also noted how many Malaysians who have gone to the Ireland have been hired by MNCs due to their existing command of more than one language. To top it off, many MNCs are now putting up cloud server facilities in Ireland due to the conducive weather, not being too hot or cold, which bodes well for both the economy and the chances of taking advantage of the stay back policy. Besides tech giants like Google and Facebook setting up shop there, Ireland is home to 9 out of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world. Suffice to say, you’ll be spoiled for choice when searching for interviews post-graduation.
Ireland is also noted to be very safe, being on an island. “Policemen there don’t ever carry a gun because of how safe it is,” says CK. On top of that, being a rather smaller place, with less to do, students are more compelled to concentrate on their studies.
Institutions in Ireland offer scholarships, ranging from 25% to 50% off tuition fees (depending offer by respective institution and course applied). Please contact Education in Ireland for more info on scholarships offered by Irish institutions.