Why, of all the countries in the world, would I want to study in Ireland, especially if I am looking for a higher education destination?” I ask myself as I land in Dublin, the capital of the Emerald Isle (the poetic name of Ireland due to its green countryside). I am in the country on an invitation from Enterprise Ireland, the government organisation responsible for the growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. Our itinerary takes us from Dublin to Cork to Limerick and Galway and back. As I get on my journey, I get to see that Ireland is a beautiful island, combining contemporary modern cities with an unspoilt countryside.
WIT: Our first stop is Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), the major provider of higher education in the South East region of Ireland. On being asked why a student should choose WIT as a study destination, Prof Denis Harrington, the head of Graduate Business, replies, “WIT received more than 100 million euros in research funding over the last 10 years, making WIT an attractive choice for students.” He adds that WIT is a state-sector, university-level college which is funded directly by the Irish government. “This means that its facilities and infrastructure are of excellent quality.”
CIT: Moving on, we reach the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT). “CIT is one of the most highly rated higher education colleges in Ireland, both in terms of facilities and in the great student-staff relations,” says Michael Loftus, the head of Faculty at CIT. About the city of Cork, he adds, “Cork is a centre of entrepreneurship, business development and employment generation.” CIT, as I find out, has a total enrolment in excess of 14,000 full-time and part-time students.
UCC: Then we leave for University College Cork (UCC), which is Ireland’s premier research university attracting the highest peer-reviewed research income per head nationally. Prof Patrick Fitzpatrick, head of College, says that founded in 1845, UCC is one of the oldest universities in Ireland. “Its degrees, conferred by the National University of Ireland, are internationally recognised,” he says. As I meet various Indian students at UCC, Prof Fitzpatrick adds that UCC has more than 2,400 students from 98 countries.
UL: The next day we reach the University of Limerick (UL),