Ireland Sees An Average Growth Of 120% In Study Visas

22 Jan 2014


Immigration News

Ireland, which was once just a tourist destination, is now attracting foreign students for the quality education it offers. Students from more than 80 countries do not need a visa to study in Ireland, and the Graduate Work Visa allows graduates to live and work in Ireland after completing their education.

Enterprise Ireland’s manager of Education in Ireland – India, China and Russia, James Mackrill said that a year ago, foreign students would not have really considered Ireland as a possible option for higher education. But, over time, Ireland has increased its visibility in the education market place and Ireland is now being recognized as a study destination.

Mackrill added that many students were attracted by the ‘stay back’ option, under which, students have a grace period of one year after graduation to live in Ireland, which allows them to seek employment options in their chosen field.

He also said that compared to the US, UK and other European countries, Ireland is very cost effective and provides a range of scholarships for Indian students studying in Ireland, adding that Indian students predominantly take courses in pharmaceutics, food sciences, technology and cloud computing.

Mackrill insisted that the job prospects in IT sector, which is the backbone of Ireland, are mostly available, and there is an increased interest in humanities also.

The ambassador of Ireland to India, Feilim McLaughlin, reiterated the same and said that in the past one-and-a-half years, there have been an increased number of Ireland student visa applications.

McLaughlin said that there has been a growth of 120% on an average, and stated that currently, there are around 1,300 Indian students studying in Ireland with the country aiming to reach 2,000 by the end of the coming year and 5,000 in the coming 5 years. McLaughlin stated that they are trying to place Ireland as a substitute to countries like Canada, UK, and other English-speaking countries.

Upon asking the reasons for students choosing to study in Ireland, the ambassador said that Ireland offers quality education in a range of areas like pharmaceuticals, IT, business studies and applied sciences, and added that globally, all Irish universities are ranked in top 2%. The two main business schools of Ireland - University of Dublin and Trinity College in Dublin - are ranked among the top 50 in the world.

McLaughlin also said that in specific areas like cloud computing, food sciences and nanotechnology, Ireland is ranked among the top 10 in the world. McLaughlin said that they do not just aim to give an academic qualification but provide industry aligned academic qualification.

The Republic of Ireland, also known as the ‘Island of Saints and Scholars’, is home to some of the leading companies in the world. Ireland houses more than half of the leading financial services firms in the world, 8 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies, and 15 of the top 25 medical devices manufacturers. Hence, great employment opportunities are aplenty for foreign students n Ireland.

Despite the recession worldwide, Ireland keeps attracting a large amount of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment). In fact, after Singapore, Ireland is the 2nd most attractive country globally for FDI.


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