With Irish universities offering courses, scholarships, and other educational opportunities to Indian students, Ireland is no longer just a country with a vibrant culture, but also a viable alternative for higher education.
Anita Kelly, the Irish Consul General in Mumbai, spoke to the Free Press Journal about the options for Indian students, student visas, the accommodation crisis or problems, and much more while attending the Mumbai leg of the Ireland education exhibition organised by Education in Ireland.
Education, according to Kelly, is important in the relations between India and Ireland. The Consul General had been here for three months and was astounded by the similarities that both countries share. She even mentioned an Irish teacher, Margaret Cousins, who composed the melody for India's national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’, demonstrating Ireland's long history of sending teachers all over the world and the importance of education in the India-Ireland relationship.
Ireland is also the only English-speaking country in the EU that can be beneficial for Indian students because every subject is taught in the English language, which is also utilised in the majority of other sectors in the country.
How is Ireland Planning to Help Indian Students Avail Jobs?
With thousands of organisations ranking among the best in technology and 50% of the world's top financial service companies based in Ireland, Indian students benefit from the country's stay-back visa rules.
Indian students can apply for stay-back visas in important industries such as ICT, Pharma, medical devices, and financial services in Ireland. These students are an important supply of talent for Ireland, and the country is delighted to see many of the graduates working with and succeeding in Irish firms.
The Efficiency of the Irish Visa and Accommodation Crisis
With ongoing student visa troubles in the United States and Canada, Kelly pointed out that the Ireland visa procedure is swift, taking only 5 working days to process student visas provided all documentation is in place.
The Irish Consul General recognised that the country is currently experiencing a big accommodation crisis, which is similar to conditions in many other countries. As a solution, she suggested that students contact the university office if they have any problems. About 50,000 people of Indian descent make up 1% of the Irish population, so if students have family members in the country, they can stay with them for a while until things settle down.
Ireland's Future Growth Among Indian and International Students
According to Anita Kelly, the country would want to become one of the top choices for Indian students in the next years and grow their number. Though Ireland is a tiny country with a population of 5 million people, approx 4,000-5,000 students every year and 40,000 students total is a lot, thus beating the numbers of the US or Canada is unrealistic. However, Kelly emphasised that the country is focused on quality programmes rather than a large number of students. They already have a large number of Indian students from Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore, where the fairs are also held.
Furthermore, Ireland is heavily focused on postgraduate education as the primary criterion for Indian students. The Irish Consul General has taught law to students at the Technological University of Shannon and in a third-level institution. She also stated that the Indian kids in her class were among the best and raised the standard of the classroom.
The Irish Consul General further stated that Irish society has undergone significant transformation as a result of new communities arriving and settling in Ireland. Immigrants contribute vital skills and abilities to the country; for example, numerous nurses from Kerala work in health centres around Ireland, caring for the elderly.
Source: India Media Monitor
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