Ireland

WHY STUDY IN IRELAND – Press Release 2008 by Frank

# The quality of our education system and the international reputation of Irish academic qualifications. Ireland and China have signed a mutual recognition of degrees.

# The high value and status placed upon education in Ireland.

# The very close links between our education institutions, our thriving economy and our social and cultural institutions.

# The opportunity to study in an English speaking country with close links to Europe and the U S A.

# The reputation of Irish people for friendliness.

# The vibrancy of our cities, which provide a lively yet safe and secure environment in which young people can live, work and study.

# The availability of relevant courses and flexible study options in English language training.
 

About Ireland

Ireland is a dynamic, lively, modern country with a young population and is one of the fastest growing economies in the OECD but is also a nation where music, conversation, culture, traditions, time to relax, listen and make friends is also very important. It is a country renowned for its beautiful, unspoilt countryside and scenery as well as its cultured, cosmopolitan and lively cities.

Education has always been highly valued in Ireland and our reputation for education excellence dates back to the Middle Ages. Today, Ireland boasts one of the highest education participation rates in the world ( with over 60 % of students who have completed secondary education going on to College ) and our emphasis on quality attracts over 200,000 international students per year across all levels of education. Our Higher Education system includes the Universities and the Institutes of Technology which are publicly funded and the Independent Colleges which are privately funded. However, the Ministry of Education and Science’s Higher Education and Training Awards Council provides stringent quality assurances for all sectors.
All three sectors offer courses ranging from technical to Masters while the Universities offer post-doctoral and research opportunities.

Ireland is an English speaking country with close cultural, economic and educational links links with the English speaking world, especially with Britain, our next door neighbour and with the U S A where Irish – Americans form a very high proportion of the population. We are European – part of the E U family nations and cultures and very much part of the increasingly integrated European Education Area. Ireland is global in outlook- for several centuries Irish people have had to emigrate to and settle in many countries around the globe – and so today we are very happy to welcome people from all over the world.

According to the I M D World Competitiveness Report, Ireland has one of the best education systems in the world. It has very close links to industry and is characterised by creativity, flexibility, agility, pragmatism and informality. Education has been a key factor in making Ireland one of the fastest growing economies in the world over the past two decades. Government policy on investment in research and the “ 4th Level “ education is seen as the key to further developing Ireland as a knowledge society in the new global economy.


Culture and people

Ireland's largest religious group is the Roman Catholic Church (about 70% for the entire island, and over 90% for the Republic), and most of the rest of the population adhere to one of the various Protestant denominations. The largest is the Anglican Church of Ireland. The Irish Muslim community is growing, mostly through increased immigration (see Islam in Ireland). The island also has a small Jewish community (See History of the Jews in Ireland), although this has declined somewhat in recent years. Since joining the EU in 2004, Polish people have been the largest source of immigrants (over 180,000) from Central Europe, followed by other migrants from Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Latvia.


Currency and living expenses

The Irish Pounds are no longer in use and the current currency is the Euro (€)
1.00 Euro (EUR) = 4.65332 Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)

 

Costs & Living Expenses

The main costs that students can expect to incur while studying in Ireland include tuition fees, accommodation and living expenses. These vary considerably depending on the course, the institution and the lifestyle of the student. The figures given below provide a guideline for budgeting. Costs do not remain static, so it is important to double check fees with the Institution(s) you are considering applying to, and to ask their advice on other living costs.

Living expenses will differ depending upon the location of the institution, the type of accommodation preferred and on the personal expenditure of the student. To give some idea of the total cost involved, the following approximate figures - at 2006 rates - are given as a guide to overall expenses On average we estimate that a student will spend between €7500 and €12,000 per year depending on location and lifestyle.


Accommodation

Below are the estimates of prices of accommodation in Ireland. However, prices range according to the location and type of accommodation.
 

Accommodation (Including Heat and Light)

€ 3,500-5,400

On Campus Accommodation

€ 1,700-2,500

Family-based Accommodation

€ 3,500-4,600

 

Getting around

Climate
Overall, Ireland has a mild, but changeable, climate all year. The island experiences few weather extremes. The warmest recorded air temperature was 33.3°C (91.94°F) at Kilkenny Castle, County Kilkenny on 26 June 1887. The coldest air temperature was -19.1°C (-2.38°F) at Markree Castle, County Sligo on 16 January 1881.[12] , however the antiquated analogue thermometers of the day would not have been as accurate as modern day digital thermometers, so these readings would probably not have been 100% accurate by today's accepted and very precise high standards.

Shopping
As many happy travelers will tell you, the shopping in Ireland is phenomenal. From local woolen goods to linens to breathtaking crystal, Ireland shopping opportunities are endless. One favorite Ireland shopping destination is Grafton Street in Dublin. Grafton Street is full of street vendors, small boutiques, upscale department stores, and lively little shops of all kinds. While some shoppers still prefer to barter for their goods, bartering is generally not practiced in Ireland.

Ireland shoppers should also head to other major cities like Cork, Belfast, and Galway. Most major cities have a similar shopping area as Dublin, full of small shops and fun little souvenirs. For Northern Ireland shopping specialties include some of the finest Irish linen in the country. There is great crystal shopping in Ireland, especially in County Waterford. You can choose between the world-famous Waterford crystal and the slightly less expensive Cavan crystal. For clothes shopping Ireland travelers can head to Donegal for exquisite tweed or to western Ireland for warm Aran sweaters and hand-knitted clothing of all kinds. The Aran sweaters are made of plain, undyed wool, and they are incredibly warm.

Transportation
Being a small country, Ireland is fairly easy to get around, and there are a few different ways to do it. Renting a car can be a great way to have the freedom to do what you want and when you want to, but it's important to remember that 1)most cars there have a manual transmission, and 2)you'll be driving on the left side of the road. While this may seem like a small matter, remembering to stay on your side of the road can be tricky, and getting used to shifting with your left arm can take a bit of a toll.

The country's bus system is extensive and can get you to nearly any destination you want, including Northern Ireland. Check their timetables online ahead of time and make sure that your selected routes will mesh, and you should be fine.

The rail system is less extensive than the bus routes and a good deal pricier, but it's tough to beat a train ride through the Irish countryside. If you have the funds to do it, the train is a great way to get across the country.

The less thought of method (since Ireland is so small) is to fly. With Ryanair offering flights from Cork to Dublin for about 10 euro taxes included, it is pretty cheap to get between the major cities if you have the time to do so, and don't mind the antics of Ryanair (you will understand if you ever fly with them!)

There are lots of choices for getting around, and more than likely you will find one that suits you best.