Despite the global pandemic, international education has proved to be surprisingly resilient to the challenges of COVID-19. While a significant number of students did not give up on their dreams to study abroad, Ireland with a careful and cautious approach to COVID-19 demonstrated how Irish institutions have prioritized the physical and mental health of students, ensuring the highest standards of education to sustain the aspirations of international students.
Education in Ireland in association with Embassy of Ireland and Visa Office in New Delhi thus organized a pre-departure virtual briefing for Indian students in process to study in Ireland for the academic year 2021-22. The briefing consisted of faculty from higher education institutes giving insights on the ‘learning experience’ in Ireland and what to expect, followed by a chat with Indian graduates in Ireland answering relevant questions and giving their perspective to students before they get to Ireland.
Furthermore, accommodation options for students in Ireland were also discussed along with a presentation from the Irish government Visa Office. The students also had the opportunity to chat one-on-one chat with visa officers.
Ambassador Brendan Ward, Ireland’s Ambassador to India said, “We’re still in extraordinary times and the pandemic has created challenges all across the world. However, Indian students can be sure that Higher Educational Institutions in Ireland are committed to enabling you to achieve your dream of studying there. The Irish economy has been rebounding strongly following the challenges of COVID-19 and is expected to grow by over 7% in the year 2021. We also expect to see many work opportunities open up for international graduates that many of you may also seek to avail work opportunities after graduation.”
Ireland has taken on a prudent approach to ensure public health measures are in place and has forecasted to have a fully vaccinated adult and student population. The Irish Government has also published a return to campus plan for higher education institutions wherein significant emphasis will be placed on face-to-face learning. It has put in place comprehensive support for businesses to overcome challenges of COVID-19 ensuring more part-time work opportunities for students.
Mr. Barry O’Driscoll, Senior Education Adviser for Education in Ireland said, “Ireland has a long history of welcoming international students and in recent years has become one of the top destinations for Indian students at undergraduate and postgraduate level. It provides the benefits of English speaking education in a country that’s at the heart and the cultural, economic and technological leading edge of Europe. The country has a comprehensive national vaccination program. Ireland plans to have a fully vaccinated adult population by end of August/ beginning of September which will allow students to experience an education that goes deeper than books, tutorials or lectures. An education in the real sense of the word.”