An Irish (Third Level) Education… August 22, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Economy, European Politics, Irish Politics.
Here’s a post written a short while back, coincidentally this appeared yesterday morning in the Irish Times.
Here’s something I hadn’t known. The issue of how our educational institutions engage with the increasing costs of education in other EU countries, and in particular the UK has been mentioned here before. And it seems that there has been an increase in applications and admissions. In this piece in the Guardian it’s interesting to see how complimentary the description of our education system. A narrative somewhat at odds with the harum scarum line we are often offered by the Irish Times and Independent.
So one will read that:
Irish institutions such as Trinity and UCD, ranked among the top universities in Europe, charge just €2,250 a year (£1,760) to EU citizens.
[And] it is the Republic of Ireland which is seeing the biggest surge in British students beating the tuition fee hikes. For many 18-year-olds it is far less daunting than going to a non-English speaking country and many arrive with family connections in the country.
But what of admissions. Well. As noted above, there’s definitely been an increase. The piece notes:
The number of British students applying to Dublin’s Trinity College has jumped by 20% to nearly 2,000 this year. At University College Dublin (UCD), applications from students with British A-levels have surged 37% from 800 to around 1,100.
But what’s telling is that there may be a self-limiting aspect to this. Again, away from the rather dire prognostications of the IT and II education pages it seems that access to third level in this state is far from as easy as is made out. Consider the following:
The major barrier [to Irish universities] is academic entry requirements. “The grade requirements can be almost ridiculously high,” warns Huntington. The Irish equivalent of A-levels is the Leaving Cert, which covers six subjects. Unless a British student has studied four A-levels and gained good grades, they may find it difficult to obtain enough points to qualify for an Irish university.
Huh? Ridiculously high? That’s something I haven’t heard before.
It also notes:
Entry requirements Tough. Based on points score in the Irish Leaving Certificate (six subjects, maximum 600 points for six As). A British A grade is worth 135 points, so students will need four good A-levels to obtain a place a leading university. Irish universities do not make conditional offers. No one receives an offer from an Irish university until they have received their grades.
And there are other self-limiting aspects too. Not least…
Prices in Dublin, once one of Europe’s most expensive cities, is another issue, though the cost of living has fallen in recent years. UCD says rent for on-campus rooms are €486 a month (£380), while living off campus nearby in Rathmines would be about €450 (£352). The universities of Cork, Limerick and Galway all charge similar tuition fees but with lower living costs.
Moreover there are other states in the EU where it’s materially easier to enter third level as a UK student with lower requirements and costs. The Netherlands is one such and the language isn’t an issue because courses are taught through English.
All in all then the notion that we’re about to see our universities and colleges over run or see an unreasonable drain on our resources in this area is probably unlikely.