The challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the study abroad dream of many Indian students. International travel restrictions and the ensuing confusion that followed with virtual classrooms raised several doubts and concerns. Ireland has been taking decisive steps to combat the situation and last month was even named the best country for its response to the pandemic (Bloomberg, Sep 2021).
To communicate this message and to address queries of parents and students, Education in Ireland, a Government of Ireland brand under the authority of the Minister for Education and Skills, hosted a virtual education showcase for Indian and Sri Lankan students. The virtual showcase emerged as a one-stop destination for the attendees to learn more about Ireland and have their concerns about the higher education scenario in Ireland resolved.
The fair traced over 3,000 registrations for the event and witnessed 45 representatives from 20 Higher Education Institutions and various government and visa officials help students understand the procedures and requirements for their transition to becoming an international student in Ireland. The event captured over 1,500 chat-based interactions between students and Irish representatives.
Speaking about Ireland’s commitment to encourage students to pursue their study abroad plans, Mr. Barry O’Driscoll, Regional Manager, India & South Asia for Education in Ireland said, ”The Education in Ireland Virtual Showcase brings together Indian and Sri Lankan students on an online platform to provide a transparent and straightforward interaction with Ireland’s top higher education institutes. Over 40 representatives from 20 Irish higher education institutions were able to answer student queries at length through audio and video-based chats. It was indeed heartening to see the great number of participants attend the Showcase.”
Representatives at the event covered a wide gamut of queries that ranged from admission and English test requirements, scholarships opportunities, PhD fellowships, to COVID-19 handling in Ireland along with job prospects in Ireland, and salary expectations for graduates in different sectors. There was heightened interest in courses like engineering, business, data science, computer science, at the same time programmes such as veterinary studies, dentistry, psychology, social work, information systems, biopharmaceutics engineering, hospitality, instructional design also seemed to be in high demand.
“Ireland has retained its position as a preferred study destination for many international students being one of the few countries that has effectively opened up its borders to its international students. Additionally, Ireland’s education system ranks in the top 10 globally and is one that meets the needs of a competitive economy. This meant that we saw a lot of genuine interest for undergraduate and postgraduate programs across different streams including ICT, business, medicine and pharmacy, hospitality and tourism, as well as humanities and the arts, the sector-wise seminars enlightened students on popular programmes and career opportunities after their degrees,” added Mr. Driscoll.
Ireland offers international students a chance to be a part of a vibrant, multicultural society where they will receive the highest of education standards and warmest of welcomes in a country known for its culture, history, safety and pioneering people.
Ireland has always invested in education with a strong sense of the ROI for their international students – which in simple terms means a career boost against their graduation. In Ireland, students will study high quality programmes that set their future career path and make them highly employable not only in Ireland but globally- even in the post pandemic world.
Education in Ireland is planning to return with a pan India physical fair early next year.