More Indian Students Considering Ireland As Study Destination, Consul General

More Indian Students Considering Ireland As Study Destination, Consul General

Ireland is a welcoming place with low crime rates and a huge importance on family values, she claims.

Simple VishwakarmaUpdated: Monday, May 06, 2024, 12:44 PM IST
article-image
Anita Kelly Consul General of Ireland in Mumbai | ireland.ie website

Ireland is now housing over 10,000 Indian students a year who study myriad subjects in Ireland, such as engineering, ICT and healthcare. In addition to providing high-quality education, Ireland is also known for its friendly atmosphere and cheaper tuition fees than other English-speaking nations. 

Furthermore, Ireland continues to retain an open-door policy for students who match academic standards, despite worries about visa limits elsewhere, these are what Anita Kelly, the Consul General of Ireland in Mumbai, claimed during an exclusive interview with The Free Press Journal (FPJ).

FPJ: How does the Consulate leverage Ireland-India education ties for student attraction?

Kelly: So what we're trying to do is build collaborations like this one with NMIMS and several schools and third-level colleges in Ireland. Currently, 20 Irish higher education institutions are actively recruiting students from India and 14 have representatives in India to assist with the recruitment process. These institutions are not only seeking to recruit students but also to collaborate in areas such as research and joint programmes, including the one we have established here.

FPJ: What are the courses that are mainly approached by the Indian students in Ireland?

Kelly: Around 10,000 Indian students are now studying in Ireland every year, including undergraduate and postgraduate students. Apart from hospitality, key sectors for Indian students are healthcare, pharmaceuticals, ICT, engineering and accounting. The quality of teaching is great, and the fees in Ireland are lower than in other English-speaking countries like the U.S. People find Ireland welcoming and value-driven. Ireland and India share similar family values, making it an ideal destination.

FPJ: Are there immigration restrictions in Ireland due to the migrant influx?

Kelly: Currently, there are no issues regarding education in Ireland. Irish universities welcome students who meet the academic criteria, regardless of their nationality. There is no cap on the number of students that can be admitted to Irish universities at the moment, which is a positive thing. Ireland is a relatively new destination for Indian students, who traditionally went to the U.K., U.S., or Canada. However, this trend is changing, and more Indian students are now considering Ireland as a study destination. Although some Indian students are cautious about studying in Ireland due to a lack of information, the education sector is growing organically, and at a manageable pace for Ireland. It is not foreseen that there will be a cap on the number of students in the future.

FPJ: How will Ireland address rising accommodation costs for international students?

Kelly: It's inevitable that there are accommodation issues in big cities around the world, and this is true for Ireland as well. However, in Ireland, many institutions guarantee accommodation for undergraduates and they try to place postgraduates in campus accommodation afterwards. As a result, there is an increasing amount of campus accommodation being provided to students.

FPJ: Do Indian students in Ireland receive extra social security benefits? 

Kelly: Ireland is a welcoming place with low crime rates and a huge importance on family values. Similar to India, people look out for one another. In colleges, there is a paternalistic attitude where students support each other. As a former teacher in a college, I noticed a strong social support system for students, especially for those who struggle. Group work is done in smaller groups, making it easy for students to approach someone for help. Each college has its own welfare ethos, ensuring that students receive the necessary support. It is vital that students feel welcome and wanted in Ireland.

FPJ: What is the expected enrollment of Indian students in Ireland Universities for the year 2024?

Kelly: There isn't a specific target for Indian students. We are open and welcoming to all Indian students, but we are not looking to aggressively recruit them. We want to see our student body grow organically.

I do not have the figures for 2023, but I can confirm that the figures for 2022 were 7,000. As for 2023, I estimate that the number has approached 10,000. Moreover, Ireland offers a stay-back visa of one year for undergraduate degrees and two years for postgraduate degrees. There is a high demand for skilled labour in Ireland, especially in the sectors I mentioned earlier. Therefore, any Indian student looking to pursue a degree in Ireland will find it beneficial for employment opportunities.

FPJ: How is Ireland bridging the skill gap, and attracting Indian students?

Many people are being recruited for work in Ireland, particularly in the healthcare sector. Even if they have not studied in Ireland, healthcare workers are in constant demand, as there is a shortage of workers. Many workers from Kerala are contributing to Irish hospitals every day, and they have been granted employment visas. Besides, several Irish companies are collaborating with Indian companies like Tech Mahindra and Tata Consultancy Services to employ a pool of talented workers from India. These companies mostly hire workers for their back-office functions. There is a continuous exchange of people between these two sectors. The quality of work done by these workers is excellent.

FPJ: Are there any future collaboration plans between Indian and Irish governments for more international scholarships?

Kelly: I can't say very much about it, but there is interest in the education sector. In the Irish third-level sector and partnering with other colleges here, there's significant interest, and this is something that's growing at the moment. There are a range of scholarships. In Ireland, it varies from college to college, but there are a range of scholarships, and Indian students are taking these up every year and are very grateful for them, and are making the most of what they're given. 

RECENT STORIES

Indian Students In PEI Parliament Demand Fair Treatment Amid Deportation Fears

Indian Students In PEI Parliament Demand Fair Treatment Amid Deportation Fears

Indian Army Open Vacancies For Short Service Commissioned Officers, Apply By June 3

Indian Army Open Vacancies For Short Service Commissioned Officers, Apply By June 3

University Of Birmingham Dubai Opens Applications For MEng Mechanical Engineering

University Of Birmingham Dubai Opens Applications For MEng Mechanical Engineering

Hyderabad University Ranked Among Top Global Universities For Affordable, Quality Education Globally

Hyderabad University Ranked Among Top Global Universities For Affordable, Quality Education Globally

Sydney Scholars India Scholarship 2024: Applications Closing Soon, Apply Now

Sydney Scholars India Scholarship 2024: Applications Closing Soon, Apply Now