Higher Education in Ireland - An Overview

Ireland can boast of some impressively the best world class level universities which are undoubtedly a popular choice for international students around the globe. If you are among those students who dream to study in a good Irish University, then you will be happy to know that you are at the right page. WEN gives you the best possible information about all Irish Universities, application and admission process and lots more.

The Higher education in Ireland consists of the universities, specialist colleges which offer courses in a single subject area and the institutes of technology. The Institutes of Technology not only offers technology subjects, but also has a wide variety of programs ranging from hospitality and health care to marketing and textile and many more. All the seven public universities in Ireland are ranked within the world’s top 700 Universities in the 2012/13 QS World University Rankings, as is one of the fourteen institutes of technology. Three colleges even make to the top 200 colleges in the world, which includes Trinity College, Dublin at number 67, University College, Dublin at number 131 and the University Colleges ,and  Cork at number. 190.

Ireland also has seven world class private-sector colleges, whose size ranges from the tiny Burren College of Art, which only has about 200 students, to the huge Dublin Business School, which has a huge student community of about 9,000.

These varied selection of higher education institutes are combined with beautiful countryside historic cities and Ireland’s unique culture which plays a vital role in making the country a highly attractive study destination for students across the world.

There’s also an extra incentive for students coming from within the EEA or Switzerland, who qualify for the Free Fees Initiative – this means undergraduate courses at Ireland’s public institutes is free, apart from a relatively minor ‘registration fee’.

Universities and Institutions providing Higher Education:

There are mainly by seven universities, 14 Institutes of Technology, which also includes the Dublin Institute of Technology and seven colleges of Education. Ireland also has a number of other third level institutions provide specialist education in such fields as medicine, art and design, business studies, theology, rural development, law and music.

University sector
Most of the Universities in Ireland are State-funded, but they are againgenerally autonomous. Ireland has a total of seven universities, which includes:
  • The National University of Ireland (NUI) which covers colleges like - University College Galway (UCG), St Patrick's College in Maynooth, University College Dublin (UCD) and University College Cork (UCC)

  • The University of Dublin, which is also known as the Trinity College Dublin (TCD)

  • The University of Limerick (UL)

  • Dublin City University (DCU)
Technological sector
The technological sector in Ireland includes institutes of technology which provide programmes of education and training in variety of areas such as science, business, linguistics, engineering and music to certificate, diploma and degree levels. There are a total of 14 institutes of technology located in and around the country. In the Dublin area they are Tallaght, Dublin, Dun Laoghaire and Blanchardstown and outside Dublin they are Waterford, Cork, Tralee, Athlone, Dundalk, Galway and Mayo, Letterkenny, Sligo, Carlow and Limerick.

Colleges of education
Ireland is home to several colleges of education providing specialised training for primary school teachers. The colleges of education in Ireland offer a 3-year Bachelor of Education degree and also an 18-month postgraduate diploma. Post-primary teachers generally do a primary degree which is followed by a postgraduate diploma.

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is the statutory planning and development body in Ireland for higher education and research. The HEA has wide advisory powers throughout the whole of the third-level education sector. It is also the funding authority for the institutes of technology, universities and many other designated higher education institutions.

The National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030, was launched in Ireland in the year 2011, which will help in the transformation of Ireland’s higher education sector over the next two decades.

Popular Fields of Study in Ireland

If you bring into account Ireland’s literary tradition, the country has always been a great destination for students interested in literature. The strength of Ireland's higher education is a big draw for many international students and a variety of interests are catered to. Students in Ireland will find programs in varied fields which include history, technology and communications, peace and conflict studies and environmental science. Ireland is always a great choice for students that are goal oriented, self-motivated and want to make the most out of their study time abroad. Both critical thinking and innovation are highly encouraged in Ireland!
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