The Higher Education Minister in Ireland, Simon Harris, claimed that the country might attract international students due to its handling of COVID-19 and that Ireland has opened its doors to international students wishing to pursue their degree here.
Mr Harris admitted that his sector is managing the situation, aiming to bring as many students back as possible, however, these students might be required to study on an online basis. Under the current regulations, people who enter Ireland must self-isolate for two weeks.
Mr Harris claimed that “Ireland is absolutely open to international students and there is no travel ban,” emphasizing that self-isolation is essential and expected from anyone who enters Ireland. According to Harris, learning can start immediately, even during the isolation period.
“Maybe link in with the colleges online during that period of time and they will be happy to do that because they will be here for a year, not just a week or two,” suggested the minister.
The government is soon expected to release a list of countries, known as a “green list”. These countries will be marked safe, and anyone who enters Ireland from the “green list” countries will not be required to undergo quarantine. Currently, masks are mandatory in public transport and retail outlets in Ireland, while gathering in groups of more than 10 people is not allowed.
While travel bans are still in place in many countries of the world, Ireland has become a ray of hope for international students wishing to study abroad. According to the Irish Higher Education Authority, some of the top countries sending international students to pursue their qualifications in Ireland include the US, China, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Canada among others.
According to ICEF Monitor, non-EEA students in Ireland make up more than half of the international student body, and they are essential to the financial well-being of universities. International student fees in Ireland, however, are higher than those of domestic students. Specifically, the tuition fees for intl students range somewhere between €9,000 and €25,000 and even higher in fields like medicine.
Ireland is highly regarded for its education system, the quality of its academic programmes, as well as standard of research. Basically, international students tend to be quite comfortable and satisfied with Ireland as a study destination. This island country, not only has a rich and interesting history, but it is also highly welcoming to internationals.