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Ireland is set to welcome students back to campus; students from India may get admission next month as well

DUBLIN: The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on all sectors, including education, and has shattered the dreams of students, especially those who wanted to study abroad. However, Ireland is set to reopen its campus to students as the new academic year begins in September. Those in the education sector are hoping that education will resume in the best possible way.

Vaccination rates in Ireland are expected to rise significantly over the next two to three months. One-third of Ireland’s population has already received the first dose of the vaccine.

Barry O’Driscoll, Regional Manager, India & South Asia for Education in Ireland, said the return to a campus life would be done step by step with different student groups. “It is likely that some remote teaching will remain in place for larger student groups. So effectively a hybrid model will be in place,” he said.

O’Driscoll said Ireland is also taking the initiative to make life easier for foreign students who are suffering due to the COVID pandemic. “It has been confirmed that international students who were eligible to apply for the two-year stay back visa but, due to COVID-19, remained in their own country to study online during the current academic year – will be deemed eligible to apply for the Third Level Graduate Permission scheme. When students are returning to Ireland for essential academic purposes, or to avail of the Third Level Graduate Permission scheme they must comply with all current public health requirements related to COVID-19,” he said.

All courses will be conducted in full compliance with public health guidelines. Hotel quarantine will not be required for students who receive the Covishield vaccine and arrive directly from India.

O’Driscoll said the biggest attraction of postgraduate education in Ireland is the high employment rate. He also said that this is what makes Ireland’s education system different compared to other countries like the UK, USA and Australia. “Ireland’s high education institutions are closely liked with industry and courses, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level are highly practical and applied to the real world,” he added.

There are more than a thousand multinational companies in Ireland in the fields of ICT, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and financial services. “A big part of the reason for these industry players choosing Ireland as the location is the quality of the graduates that Ireland’s higher education institutions produce,” O’Driscoll said.

In order to attract more students, the Irish Government has announced undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships worth €1,500,000 for Indian students. “There are a number of different scholarships provided in Ireland. The higher educational institutions themselves are providing a variety of scholarships that are merit-based,” he said.

“The ‘Government of Ireland International Education Scholarships 2021’s initiative every year offers 60 scholarships to be given for a year of study at Bachelor or Masters level to eligible international candidates who are offer holders of Irish higher educational institutions,” O’Driscoll said.

Consultancy services say students seeking admission by at least the end of June can gain admission in September. Admission is usually completed by mid-July, but due to the pandemic, there are indications that there will be lots of vacancies at most colleges and universities this time around.

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