Ireland is a very attractive destination for foreign students: German students represent the fifth largest group of international students in Ireland. One of the many reasons for this is that the university landscape in Ireland is based on the British model and, despite its clarity, is considered to be outstanding.
An important feature that Ireland’s Higher Education Sector is known for is the close contact between teachers and students. Anyone who has questions will always find an open ear. Most courses are small and personal, and a lot can be clarified in an uncomplicated direct way.
Types of universities in Ireland
As in Great Britain, university studies are divided into undergraduate studies and postgraduate studies. Degrees such as Bachelor, Master or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) are widely recognized and therefore particularly desirable, but study programs and semesters abroad in Ireland are also popular with foreign students. For many, the English language in particular is a selection criterion: Ireland is a good alternative to Great Britain or the USA, for example. In later professional life, fluent English will often be a requirement for employment.
The higher education landscape in Ireland is basically divided into three areas: Universities, Institutes of Technology and Colleges. To learn more about the country of Ireland and continent of Europe, please follow picktrue. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is responsible for them as the highest authority. She takes care of the planning and development of the university landscape in Ireland, including funding. Nevertheless, the Irish universities can for the most part act autonomously and remain self-determined.
- Universities: The higher education landscape in Ireland includes seven public universities where students can obtain degrees based on the British model. It takes three to four years to complete the bachelor’s degree, followed by a further one to two years for the master’s degree. After that, a doctoral degree of up to four years is possible.
Probably the most famous and oldest of the higher education institutions is Trinity College in Dublin from the 16th century, which not only has academic qualities, but is also a well-known tourist attraction due to its library, which is well worth a visit. In rankings, it can regularly hold its own alongside other top universities.
In addition to this venerable university and others that were founded shortly afterwards, there are also newer universities. The youngest of them is Limerick University, which opened in 1972. Despite the different founding years, they all have state-of-the-art equipment, as a lot of financial resources have been invested in the education sector in the course of the Irish economic boom in recent years.
- Institutes of Technology: The Institutes of Technology, which are also state-sponsored,enrich the university landscape in Ireland with great practical relevance. In contrast to the universities, the students at these universities do not obtain academic degrees, with a few exceptions where they can do a bachelor’s degree.
A degree takes two or three years. The students then receive a National Certificate or a National Diploma.
- Colleges: The colleges of the higher education landscape in Ireland are both government and privately owned. Colleges of Education, for example, train teachers and receive government funding, as do some other specialized colleges. Some of them are part of a university.
In addition, there are private colleges that usually specialize in a certain area such as design, economics, music or the like.
Quality of research and teaching
In order to be able to maintain or even increase the quality of research and teaching in the higher education landscape in Ireland at a constant level, the externally operating QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) was introduced in 2012 by the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act Called to life.
He holds various roles previously held by a number of other organizations. This includes, for example, the awarding of degrees, validation of study programs or advice on the recognition of study achievements abroad.
The most important point, however, is the constant review of quality assurance in Irish universities. To this end, the QQI publishes regular reports on its website.
Internationalization in Irish Universities
The higher education landscape in Ireland benefits greatly from foreign students as they help build the image of Irish higher education institutions around the world. But on the other hand, studying on the Emerald Isle is also very attractive, which can be proven in figures: Since 2012 alone, the proportion of foreign students in Ireland has risen by 25 percent ; together they make up almost nine percent of all students in Ireland.
A 2015 survey found that Ireland was the country where international students were most satisfied with their stay abroad. The main reasons for this are the warm atmosphere and the good organization on site.