Ireland is an English-speaking country with a long tradition of providing education for international students. During the Dark Ages, many scholars from Britain and mainland Europe (including the French King Dagobert II and English King Alfrid) travelled to Ireland to study in our famous monastery schools. This tradition is continuing 1,500 years later with international students from all corners of the globe availing of the opportunities offered by the Irish education system.
In the 21st century, the Irish education system still retains its high standards and international reputation. The excellent standard of Ireland’s educational institutions has often been credited with playing a large role in our recent economic success, and the Irish government has in turn used the benefits of the Celtic Tiger to further improve schools, colleges and universities.
A large proportion of the recent investment in Irish education has been earmarked for the higher education sector. University and IT campuses throughout the country have seen major developments, with new classrooms, laboratories, library and IT facilities springing up at a terrific rate.
There are many specialist centres at Irish universities and Institutes of Technology, which have cutting-edge facilities and technologies to provide the skills and training that students need for access to ‘high-value’ employment after graduation. The qualification ‘ladder’ system of the National Education Framework ensures that students of all abilities and potentials are recognised.
Irish third-level institutions are also renowned for the warm welcome that they extend to international students. There are approximately 25,000 international students studying at third level in Ireland, with about 15,000 of these from non-EU countries. A wide range of services and facilities are in place to help ensure students enjoy a successful experience in Ireland, both in their studies and their personal lives. Recent years have also seen a good deal of other immigration into Ireland, which has lead to a more open and multicultural society.
The Irish government and Irish universities are eager to attract international students to study in Ireland, and offer a range of incentives to attract high-quality international candidates. The Irish Minister for Education recently visited South and South-East Asia, and is developing strong links between the Irish education sector and institutions and organisations in other countries.
Ireland offers a modern and multifaceted education system, which combines the best parts of Ireland’s rich heritage with its thriving, technologically adept society and a unique perspective on the future. All of this adds up to a rewarding and valuable experience for any student who decides to come to Ireland to study.