IRELAND

Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic which is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George’s Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.

Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland (officially named Ireland), which covers five-sixths of the island and Northern Ireland. Dublin is its capital city. In 2017, the population of Ireland is estimated to be 4.7 million.

The island’s geography comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable climate which avoids extremes in temperature. As of 2013, the amount of land that is wooded in Ireland was about 11% of the total, compared with a European average of 35%. There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland. The Irish climate is very moderate and classified as oceanic. As a result, winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area. However, summers are cooler than those in continental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant.

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION

The island of Ireland is located in the north-west of Europe, between latitudes 51° and 56° N, and longitudes 11° and 5° W. It is separated from the neighbouring island of Great Britain by the Irish Sea and the North Channel, which has a width of 23 kilometres (14 mi) at its narrowest point. To the west is the northern Atlantic Ocean and to the south is the Celtic Sea, which lies between Ireland and Brittany, in France.

Ireland has a total area of 84,421 km2 (32,595 sq. mi). Ireland and Great Britain, together with many nearby smaller islands, are known collectively as the British Isles. As the term British Isles is controversial in relation to Ireland, the alternate term Britain and Ireland is often used as a neutral term for the islands.

CLIMATE

The island’s lush vegetation, a product of its mild climate and frequent rainfall, earns it the sobriquet the Emerald Isle. Overall, Ireland has a mild but changeable oceanic climate with few extremes. The climate is typically insular and is temperate avoiding the extremes in temperature of many other areas in the world at similar latitudes.

Inland areas are warmer in summer and colder in winter. Usually around 40 days of the year are below freezing 0 °C (32 °F) at inland weather stations, compared to 10 days at coastal stations. Ireland is sometimes affected by heat waves. Ireland experienced unusually cold weather during the winter of 2009/10. Temperatures fell as low as −17.2 °C (1 °F) in County Mayo and up to a metre (3 ft.) of snow fell in mountainous areas.

LANGUAGE
Two main languages are spoken in Ireland: Irish and English. Both languages have widely contributed to literature. Irish, now a minority but official language of the Republic of Ireland, was the vernacular of the Irish people for over two thousand years and was probably introduced by some sort of proto-Gaelic migration during the Iron Age, possibly earlier. It began to be written down after Christianisation in the 5th century and spread to Scotland and the Isle of Man where it evolved into the Scottish Gaelic and Manx languages respectively.
CURRENCY
In the Republic of Ireland, the official currency is the euro. One euro consists of 100 cent. Notes consists of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500. Coins consists of 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1 and €2.
ECONOMY
The economy of Ireland is a modern knowledge economy, focusing on services and high-tech industries and dependent on trade, industry and investment. In terms of GDP per capita, Ireland is ranked as one of the wealthiest countries in the OECD and the EU-27 at 5th in the OECD-28 rankings as of 2008. In terms of GNP per capita, a better measure of national income, Ireland ranks only slightly above the OECD average, despite significant growth in recent years, at 10th in the OECD-28 rankings. GDP (national output) is significantly greater than GNP (national income) due to the repatriation of profits and royalty payments by multinational firms based in Ireland.

ECONOMY DATA

2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
Population (million)4.64.64.64.64.6
GDP per capita (EUR)38,01938,13439,07041,00846,166
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)2.60.21.45.27.8
Unemployment Rate14.714.713.111.39.4
Inflation Rate (HICP, annual variation in %)1.21.90.50.30.0
Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %)0.61.8-0.4-1.35.4
Exchange Rate (vs USD)1.301.321.381.211.09
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)1.391.291.331.331.11

ETHNICITY AND IMMIGRATION

Ethnic and racial minorities make up about 12 percent of the population of Ireland—a proportion that doubled in the first decade of the 21st century.

Immigration from the rest of Europe, Africa, and Asia has been significant since the last two decades of the 20th century. The key factors in increased immigration have been the more-open labour market provided by the European Union and the globalized nature of the contemporary Irish economy, both of which have attracted a wave of new residents.

Today Poles constitute the largest minority population in Ireland. Although they are small in number, the nomadic Travellers (“Tinkers”) are an indigenous ethnic minority group—defined by their shared customs, traditions, and language—that have lived in Ireland for centuries.

HIGHER EDUCATION IN IRELAND

Higher Education System

Third-level education in the Republic of Ireland includes all education after second-level, encompassing higher education in universities and colleges and further education on Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) and other courses. The degree-awarding authorities approved by the Government of Ireland, which can grant awards at all academic levels, are University of Dublin, National University of Ireland (Cork, Dublin, Galway and Maynooth), Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin City University, Dublin Institute of Technology, Higher Education and Training Awards Council, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth (Pontifical University), and University of Limerick.
The Irish Government invests over 782 million annually in research in Ireland’s higher education institutions. Irish universities are in the top 1% of research institutions in the world in terms of research impact in 19 fields, spanning natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities. This creates a unique opportunity for you at undergraduate and postgraduate level to join research programmes that are driving innovation and changing lives worldwide.

International Recognition

Ireland is in the top-twenty worldwide for its higher education system, according to the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2014.
To put the learner in control, the Quality and Qualifications Ireland has developed a National Framework of Qualifications known as the NFQ system. This 10-level framework enables comparison of different qualifications from different education institutions and ensures their recognition – both in Ireland and overseas. Most of the institutions are internationally recognized all over the world.

Safety

Ireland is a safe country for international standards. The police are trustworthy and offer help whenever they are needed. There is no reason to be overly worried about criminality in Ireland. You can move about freely through large cities, day or night, without taking special safety precautions. The police are not the only ones who can assist foreign students in emergencies as if you run into problems; you can contact an official representative from your home country.

Ireland for International Students

The higher education system in Ireland consists of the university sector, institutes of technology and private independent colleges. The entry requirements for international students to higher education are determined individually by each institution and are generally based on national examination performance and English language aptitude.

Accommodation

College students have a wide choice when it comes to accommodation. Some students choose to stay on-campus, which is available in many colleges. On-Campus accommodation is always in demand but can be quite expensive. All universities have halls of residence, generally apartments of 4 to 8 students with a private bedroom and shared kitchen, living room and bathroom. On campus accommodation must be paid in 2 instalments, in September and in February. In most campus accommodation, it is not possible to pay your rent on a monthly basis. You will usually have to pay a deposit of one month’s rent in advance which is refunded when you leave.

CAREER PATHWAYS – AFTER YOUR GRADUATION

Irish higher education institutions offer a wide selection of Study Abroad Programs allowing credit transfer arrangements with overseas universities and colleges.

A friendly and hospitable country, Ireland has a very special welcome for visitors from all around the world. Every year the Irish experience is spoken of with enthusiasm by a growing number of international students.
Each of the Irish higher education institutions has a Study Abroad office which is responsible for coordinating programs aimed at overseas students spending a summer, a semester or a full academic year studying in Ireland. The objective in any Study Abroad Programme is to experience different lifestyles and encounter new viewpoints. Junior Year Abroad and Study Abroad programs offer students a unique and enriching educational and cultural experience.

GRADUATE TRAINING SCHEMES

Most large companies employing graduates have graduate training programs in place. These are seen as an investment in potential high flyers and tend to be competitive. A graduate scheme with a big organization has the advantage of structured training programs with a variety of different experience, leading to a management position.

These schemes tend to last either one or two years and many offers you experience in several different areas of business before you choose your career path within the company. Graduate training programs are available in many sectors, particularly finance and IT. They give you a good level of support when starting your career, with excellent training and development opportunities.
It would suit you if…

  • You’re a high flyer aiming for a management career
  • You want to study for a professional qualification
  • You are comfortable in a corporate environment

There may be other temporary or permanent visas that you are eligible for when you have completed your studies. If you would like to research these options, we recommend you to visit the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service website (http://www.inis.gov.ie/).

For further details you can either visit us or contact us by phone, email, Skype, twitter, Facebook or through our website and lively talk to our professional counsellors.

We look forward to assisting you in the near future.

EDUCATION TEAM – OZ CONSULTANCY

Australian Education, Migration and Business Consultants