Every country in the world has its unique Higher Education system. Ireland, an island in North Atlantic, is a growing destination for Indians students to pursue Higher Education. As per reports, about 5000 Indian students are currently studying at Ireland.
If you are one among the aspirants for abroad education in Ireland, this interview with Ronan Hodson, who manages the region of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa for Trinity College –Dublin, Ireland could be your go-to read!
1) How is higher education in Ireland different from India?
A: The principal difference is that bachelors’ degrees in Ireland are usually 4 years in duration, and our masters’ degrees are one year. This means that we cover more advanced material in our undergraduate degree, including a significant degree of independent research by our students. This is the other main difference between the education systems – in Ireland, the focus is on independent learning and research, rather than rote learning. Students are expected to demonstrate creativity in their thinking and produce completely original work, whereas, in India, there is often an emphasis on repetition.
|Differences between Higher Education in Ireland and India|
|The usual Bachelors’ degree is 3 years.||The usual Bachelors’ degree is 4 years.|
|Masters’ degrees are two year courses.||Masters’ degrees are one year courses.|
2) What are the basic eligibility and entrances that are needed to be cleared to study in Ireland? Are there any specific criteria for Trinity specifically?
A: Admission to undergraduate programmes is competitively based on high school grades, and admission to postgraduate programmes is based on undergraduate grades. An English proficiency qualification like IELTS, TOEFL or PTE is also required, but this is a minimum requirement and higher scores do not generally affect a student’s competitiveness. Different Irish institutions have different grade requirements, and some individual programmes are more competitive than others. At Trinity, bachelor’s programmes usually require a Standard XII score of between 80 and 90% and masters require an upper 2nd division honors.
3) What are the key courses that Trinity offers? Are there any unique courses?
A: Trinity is a comprehensive university, and so offers programmes in almost all disciplines. Historically, Trinity is associated with the Arts and Humanities, because of great alumni like Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, Edmund Burke, and many others. And we do of course have excellent programmes in English, History, Law, Economics, Psychology and many other areas that attract students from all over the world. In addition, Trinity has become a university of excellence in Sciences over the past century. We have world-class programmes in Engineering and Computing, Immunology and Natural Sciences, as well as the Health Sciences: Pharmacy, Nursing, Dentistry, and Medicine. With our new E3 Initiative (Engineering, Environment and Emerging Technologies) we will be introducing new innovative programmes to prepare students for the challenges and emerging jobs of the future.
4) Are there any Indian students who are currently perusing higher education at Trinity College? If yes, how may?
A: Trinity has about 600 Indian students enrolled at this time, and the number of Indian students is growing rapidly year on year. Most of these students are studying master’s degrees, but increasing numbers are coming to us for a full 4-year bachelor’s or 5-year professional degrees.
5) What are the most preferred courses by Indian students?
A: Engineering and Computer Science are among our most popular at the master’s level, especially as students are attracted by Ireland’s booming tech sector. At the bachelor’s level, the areas of study are more varied. We have Business students, Historians, Pharmacists, Physicist, Geologists – even Philosophers and Film Studies students.
6) How are culture, climate, food, and expenses of Ireland suitable for Indian students?
A: Irish culture is pretty famous – we are known as musicians, poets, and storytellers. We are also known to be very friendly people, which is reflected in official rankings by organizations like Lonely Planet, and also the personal experience of countless international students. This may seem like a small thing, but it makes a huge difference to young people moving to an unfamiliar city.
The Irish climate is just like the UK – never very hot nor very cold, and prone to light rain at any time of the year.
In terms of food, Ireland is very cosmopolitan. You can find any kind of cuisine, and vegetarianism and veganism have become extremely popular. With our growing community of “New Irish” from Asia and other parts of the world, all ingredients – spices, rice, and herbs – are readily available.
The cost of living varies from one part of Ireland to another. Dublin, as the capital city, is the most expensive – and would be similar to major UK cities like Manchester or Liverpool.
7) Shed light on job opportunities in Ireland for Indian students after completing their higher education. Also, does Trinity offers placements to students?
A: Ireland’s economy is booming, and there is a serious need for qualified graduates. This is part of the reason why we are looking for more graduates from India – because the multinational and domestic companies that call Ireland home need more talent. Most people are aware of the tech sector in Ireland – with companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. locating their EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) headquarters in Dublin. They may not know that Ireland is one of the world’s foremost producers of pharmaceuticals, or that we have a thriving medical device industry. All these industries and more are hiring Indian graduates of Irish universities.
Trinity is proud to have one of the best rates of Careers Services in Europe, with particular expertise in career outcomes for international students. Trinity students will have many opportunities to interact with and build relationships with potential employers throughout their time at the University. As the top university in Ireland and one with an exceptional global reputation, employers come to Trinity to fill their top graduate positions.
8) Talk about teaching methodology at Trinity?
A: Trinity is at the cutting edge of research and of teaching – constantly refreshing the curricula and teaching methodologies. Our latest new idea is the E3 Initiative (Engineering, Environment and Emerging Technologies), which will see a new state-of-the-art teaching facility, the E3 Learning Foundry, opening in 2022. E3 will continue to change Trinity, Dublin City and, we hope, to address global challenges through interdisciplinary research and teaching in Engineering, Computer Science and the Natural Sciences. For students interested in these areas, they should lookout for new programmes to be introduced under E3, as well as scholarships and PhD research opportunities – www.tcd.ie/E3.