How To Choose The Right University For You
Confused where to start from? Here we have a few tips in finding the right one for you!
Table of contents
1. University Rankings
First and foremost, have a target programme in mind and find all relevant colleges/institutes/Universities which offer your course. Browse through the available list and filter them based on a faculty/region/research speciality/any other preference etc.
Universities are ranked globally for their excellence in various aspects- either teaching, opportunities, research, or subject-wise ranking. You can refer to these ranking systems to make better choices. Check out the different ranking systems and come up with a sorted list.
2. Types of Colleges and Universities in Ireland
If you are not aware of the Irish University system, here is a little overview of the different kinds of educational schools in the Republic of Ireland. There are Universities, Institutes of Technology, colleges and a lot more. All of this is moreover the same but just titled differently. The various educational schools present in Ireland are :
Universities in the Republic of Ireland are all funded by the state. There are 8 Universities in Ireland. These are autonomous institutions. ‘Universities’ attract a large proportion of international students from all around the world.
Institutes of Technology
An Institute of Technology (IT) is a higher education school in the Republic of Ireland. They were formerly referred to as Regional Technical Colleges. There are 14 institutions under the ITs. These schools provide a wide range of courses, and may also have an internship as a compulsory part of the curriculum. The irony is, they are not confined to the domain of technology and provide programmes in literature, arts, commerce and other fields as well.
National Institute for Higher Education
The National Institute for Higher Education (NIHE) is an institute which is established to provide a higher level of technical education to students, above the level offered by Regional Technical Colleges, but somewhat close to the university level. There are 4 National institutes in Ireland.
Colleges of education
Again, these are pretty much similar to universities and institutes, but slightly less famous internationally. Ireland has 4 Colleges of Education.
Constituent Colleges of Irish Universities
This is a college which is a part of the University and follows similar examination patterns and curriculum as set by the Universities. They might/might not share the same campus as the University.
Independent education Institutions
These are privately established institutions which usually focus on particular domains only such as literature, medicine, computer training, medicine, etc.
3. Admission Intakes and Course Requirements
Irish universities have two intakes in a year, unlike the single intake proposal of Indian Universities. These two intakes are in the Fall/Autumn semester and the Spring Semester. If you are trying to apply for the Fall semester (also called Semester 1), which usually begins in September, your deadline can be anywhere from January to March. If you are applying for admission for the Spring intake (Semester 2) which starts towards the end of January usually, your deadline is probably between July to September of the previous year. Make sure you know about the exact deadlines and strategise accordingly.
Fall intake offers you more chances than spring/summer. However, if your preferred course is offered only in spring, just go for it.
You have your choice of Universities/Colleges ready with you! Now proceed further by analysing the eligibility conditions for getting an admission. If your profile does not match the prerequisites offered by the University, you can simply cross it off your list – your application will get rejected anyway in the initial stage of the admission process.
4. Course curriculum
This is a mandatory constraint to be checked on before you apply for any University. Go through the programme curriculum which your chosen Universities have to offer. Check the distribution of credits, specialisations, subjects taught, labs available, alignment with your Bachelor’s degree and other aspects like Internships, work experience and the Master thesis which need to be submitted for your final degree. Make sure that the curriculum aligns with your choices and interests. Reject the courses which do not seem attractive.
5. Other Influencing Factors
Be smart and talk to people who are already studying in Ireland through Facebook or WhatsApp groups. Lastly, consider these factors as well :
In the end, your University/College will be the one choosing you. We recommend picking no more than 5-7 institutions. Then you will focus better on these selected universities.