Ireland recently announced 2 years of stay-back option for international (non-EU/EEA) students (Source: Education Ireland). The new rule will allow Masters and PhD students to stay in Ireland from for 24 months to seek employment. Earlier, it was 12-months. This is applicable for eligible graduates who have studied in Irish higher education institutions and whose award is granted by a recognised Irish awarding body at Masters or PhD levels.
2-Year of Stay Back for International Students in Ireland
For international students, it is great news. Ireland has been a hot destination for internaltional students in recent years. This announcement will make Ireland a hotter study abroad destination for international students, including Indians. It’s not only about the stay back option. There are other major factors that really attract international students to study in Ireland. But generally, Indian students (especially those who depend on bank loans to cover their study abroad expenses) prefer some sort of security in terms of the stay-back option.
USPs of Ireland as a Study Abroad Destination
Besides the stay back option of 24 months, the following factors will also play a big role in making Ireland an attractive study abroad destination for Indian students in 2017.
Growing Demand Among International Students
Ireland with its recent growth strategy “Ireland Educated, Globally Connected” is pumping a lot of money to attract international students. Currently, Ireland is among the top 6 destinations for international students. In fact, Ireland is also the 7th most popular study abroad destination for the US students. The number of US students flying to Ireland had increased by 9% to 8, 823. This figure has risen steadily from 6, 798 in 2010. With time, Ireland is also getting very popular for Indian students, as reported by the Economic Times. The country has got more than 200, 000 foreign students, and is one of the top destinations for Indian students in 2017.
Excellent Quality of Education at Affordable Costs
Ireland has got one of the best education systems in Europe. Four Irish universities come within the top 1% of world university rankings. The figure might look low, but considering the size of the country, it is very commendable. Another unique feature of Ireland is a close and strong relationship between academia and industry, thereby fuels an application-driven learning atmosphere.
Compared to other popular study abroad destinations (US, Australia, UK, Canada etc.), the studying and living costs in Ireland are very competitive. Average annual tuition fees for undergraduate and postgraduate courses for international students range from €8, 000 – 22, 000. While the cost of living varies between €6, 000-10, 000 per year. Besides, institutes like Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and the University of Limerick also offer generous scholarship schemes (50-100% of tuition fees) to the meritorious and deserving internaltional students.
The Taught Masters programs in Ireland are of one-year duration. Of course, 1-year programs have got few cons. But, if you plan and proceed strategically, you can get a world class education and exposure at very cheaper costs.
Excellent Employment Opportunties
Irish degrees are very aligned to the industry needs, hence making Irish graduates very employable. The IT, telecommunication, pharmaceutical, applied sciences and finance sectors are very strong; and they provide excellent career opportunities for international students. Ireland hosts EU, EMEA headquarters and operating hubs of leading companies like Accenture, IBM, Dell, Motorola, HP, Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Pfizer, PayPal, Genzyme, DCC, Oracle, Covidien, Smurfit Kappa, CRH and many others.
Dublin – Hottest Startup Hub in Europe
In recent times, Dublin is attracting a lot of startups and foreign investments. By 2020, Dublin is all set to become of the Global Startup Hubs. Ireland’s 12.5% corporate tax rate, one of the lowest in Europe, makes the country an attractive destination for the multinational companies. It’s a no-brainer why Dublin is hosting the European headquarters to tech giants like Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, LinkedIn, eBay etc. In the Q1 of 2015, Irish firms raised EUR 120 million VC funding, and EUR 253 million in 2015. In December 2015, Dublin reported as many as 1, 200 startups in the city – which is simply incredible. So, studying in Dublin is a great opportunity for a career boost.
Friendly and Beautiful Country to Study
Besides educational excellence, Ireland’s strengths are friendly, safe and English-speaking environment, along with scenic natural beauty. A student life in Ireland will be a lifetime experience. Irish people are renowned for their warm hospitality and extreme politeness, thus very easy for international students to get used to the country. The buzzing nightlife, unspoiled countryside, stunning landscapes, exotic islands and gorgeous beaches – all these make the abroad study experience even more fun.
However, international students must be careful while choosing the program and institute for study in Ireland. Ireland is a great country. But, choosing an unappropriate subject might jeopardize the career opportunities. Its true that the 24-months stay back will provide a great cushion. But, be careful with choosing what to study, and where to study in Ireland.
Top Study Programs in Ireland
Information Technology (mainly Cloud Computing and Data Science & Analytics)
Applied Sciences – Telecommunications, Life Sciences, Food Science, Agricultural Biotechnology and Nanotechnology
Environmental Studies (including Green and Sustainable Engineering)
Top Universities in Ireland
- Trinity College Dublin
- University College Dublin
- University College Cork
- Dublin City University
- Dublin Institute of Technology
- National University of Ireland, Galway
- University of Limerick
- National University of Ireland, Maynooth