Ireland Eyes Indian Students to Meet its Skilled Workforce Demand


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Feb 21, 2023 02:22 PM IST

Acknowledging the contribution of Indian students to the economies of countries across the globe, the Irish government has been working towards attracting a larger cohort of Indian students to its universities. A roadshow consisting of 15 top universities from the country is being held across 5 cities in India to promote Education in Ireland.

Ireland Eyes Indian Students to Meet its Skilled Workforce Demand

Over the past few years, countries abroad have witnessed and understood the importance and effect of international students and foreign skilled workers on socio-economic growth. Among these countries is Ireland, which has been eyeing the potential of Indian students and professionals to meet the job demands of its markets.

With an ageing population, the country has decided to attract Indian students to study and work in Ireland. Education in Ireland, an Irish government organisation, will be conducting a five-city roadshow between 11-19 February, promoting its universities and colleges.

As per reports, 15 universities from cities like Athlone, Cork, Dublin and Galway, are promoting their course offerings in STEM, medicine, business and other disciplines. The roadshow is an opportunity for aspirants to “hone their skills and become a part of Ireland’s workforce.

Dr Colin Hughes, the Graduate Business School Head at Technological University Dublin, acknowledged the part Indian students play in the university, with subjects like Engineering, Cyber Security and Analytics becoming significantly popular among incoming Indian students. Dr Hughes pointed out the work opportunities that lay ahead of the students after graduation, especially since the headquarters of large multinational companies like Google, Apple and Meta are located in Ireland.

Also Read: Indians Acquire 'Residence by Investment' in West

Reports revealed that the unemployment rate in Ireland has been one of the lowest among other members of the European Union, however, the “hiring gap” has forced the authorities and academics to look east.

Clodagh Moore, the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment at Technological University, stated that one of the main driving factors for the study fairs has been the hiring gap in Ireland, where strong companies are working without “enough people to fill important positions”. She added that Indian graduates may be able to meet the Irish job demands.

Much like other countries, Ireland has seen a steady rise in the number of Indian students over the past five years. As per reports, 6,422 student visas were issued in 2022 to Indian students, and a few institutions even enrolled Indian students in close to a few thousand.

Supriya Samson, Deputy Manager - South Asia for University College Dublin, revealed that of the 8,500 foreign students at the institution, 950 students are of Indian nationality. Among the popular areas of study, Indian students often selected Engineering, Psychology and Computer Science.

While attracting Indian students for higher studies and subsequent work opportunities can be easier, offering them affordable accommodation is another challenge. Reports state that, like the UK, Ireland has been struggling in offering inexpensive accommodation, however, many universities have been taking steps to tackle the challenge.

Fiona Reynolds, the Head of Student Recruitment at Dublin City University, acknowledged the housing challenges faced by students, and thus, is working towards addressing the concerns, “by instituting a lottery system for those seeking accommodation”. She also added that the alumni members of the institution also rose to the challenge and offered temporary housing for students based on their needs.

Among the cohort of universities travelling during the roadshow, is one of the country’s most elite institutions, Trinity College Dublin. With over 30% of the student population being of non-Irish nationality, Trinity College Dublin is also one of the few universities in the nation offering India-based scholarships. Indians comprise the second-largest international student cohort at the university, stated Divya Pandey, Recruitment Coordinator of India, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa at the institute. Of all the scholarships, 50-100 are one-year merit-based scholarships, worth EUR 3,000 - 5,000, that Indian students can apply for annually.

Also Read: Scandinavian Countries Emerging as the New Hotspot for Indian Students

Painting his experience, Ansh Mahajan, a Senior International Student Ambassador at Atlantic Technological University, encouraged aspiring students to apply to Irish universities. He added that the universities often lend a helping hand, including in cases pertaining to stay-back visas.

Barry O’Driscoll, Regional Manager - South Asiat, LATAM Markets, Education in Ireland, stated that Ireland was in need of skilled graduates, especially in areas such as Business and Computing. Believing in the contribution of Indian students in these fields, he added that many students returned to get a better understanding of their desired courses. He also added that, previously, students were enlightened about the application process, but now the focus has shifted to the visa processes.

O’Driscoll further highlighted that the bulk of the applicants applied to Master’s and PhD courses, however, a rise in applications to undergraduate courses at Irish universities has also been seen.

He highlighted an increase in the number of students accompanied by their parents, implying that aspiring undergraduate students seem to show an interest in pursuing an interest to study in Ireland. He also cited the controversy over the post-study UK work visa amendments that had been circulating in the news over the past few weeks. He stated that their consistency in maintaining a two-year stay-back visa would push Ireland as a more attractive destination for aspiring students.

Planning your Higher Studies in Ireland?

Source: Free Press Journal

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