An independent, English speaking nation situated on the Western edge of Europe, the Republic of Ireland is an increasingly popular destination for students from all over the world. This consistent growth reflects the fact that Ireland offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy a unique blend of the highest education standards with an exciting cultural experience. Irish people are renowned for their friendliness and hospitality which greatly contributes to the ease which overseas students adapt to student life in Ireland.
Ireland is beautiful – much of the countryside remains unspoilt providing an excellent natural habitat for a flourishing flora and fauna. Ireland’s landscape provides a rich environment for the many outdoor leisure pursuits for which it is famous. Water sports, hill walking, rock climbing are just a few of the many activities which can be enjoyed when taking a break from study.
The population of Ireland stands just short of six million people. Almost 60 percent of Irish people live in urban areas, with 1.2 million living in or around the capital city of Dublin on the east coast.
Ireland enjoys a temperate climate. During the winter months temperatures rarely drop below freezing and snow is uncommon. The coldest and wettest months are December, January and February, which have mean temperatures between 4°C and 7°C. July and August are the warmest months with average temperatures of between 14 and 16, rarely rising above 20.
Why Study in Ireland?
- Long tradition of educational excellence
(known for centuries as one of the principal education providers to the western world)
- Foundation Programmes
(preparatory programmes prepare overseas students for smooth entry to higher education)
- Exciting and vibrant culture
(wide variety of technical and specialty colleges)
Special Features of Study in Ireland
Ireland’s long tradition in educational excellence is recognized the world over. Dating back to the Middle Ages, Ireland held the position as one of the principal education providers to the western world. Successive modern governments have continued to regard education as a key priority and investments in this area have been sustained for a long period. This has resulted in one of the highest education participation rates in the world today which, in turn, has had positive implications for the strong economic growth and development of the country.
Strength in Technological Education
The ever increasing demands of Ireland’s high technology economy have ensured that the higher education technological sector offers the highest and most advanced standards and opportunities available today. There are fourteen Institutes of Technology (ITs) located throughout the Republic of Ireland offering programs at foundation, national certificate, national diploma, degree and postgraduate levels in a wide variety of subjects, as well as providing craft and professional level programmers.
Opportunities for Researchers and Research Students
Ireland has a very open, vibrant and growing economy, whose expansion in recent years has been based mainly on major export growth in the ICT and biotechnology sectors. There is an ever growing range of opportunities for good researchers and research students to join Irish universities and colleges.
The Irish Education System
The Irish Education System was traditionally divided into three basic levels: primary (8 years); secondary (5 or 6 years) and third level which offers a wide range of opportunities from post-secondary courses, to vocational and technical training, to full degree and the highest post-graduate level. In recent years the focus has expanded greatly as the concept of lifelong learning becomes reflected in the educational opportunities available within the Irish education system.
Responsibility for education lies within the Department of Education and Science (DES). The DES administers all aspects of education policy including curricula, syllabi and national examinations. Attendance at full time education is compulsory in Ireland from six to fifteen years of age and is free in the majority of schools, and at undergraduate third level.