An island of opportunity

Patrick O`Riordon, director, India for Enterprise Ireland speaks to Gauri Rane about education in the island country.

Patrick O`Riordon, director, India for Enterprise Ireland speaks to Gauri Rane about education in the island country.

India seems to be the thriving market for almost every commodity and education happens to top the list. “With a large percentage of India’s population comprising of students, it has become important to cater to their demands of quality education,” says Patrick O’Riordon, director, Enterprise Ireland, India. O’Riordon has made India his home for a couple of years now understanding requirements of its students, and building partnerships with its institutions.

“Both India and Ireland have traditionally been agrarian economies,” he says drawing a parallel between the two nations. “A noticeable feature in the Indian economy has been the speedy emergence of the middle class. Over 80 per cent of students pursuing international education belong to the middle class. “This category believes that good education leads to a good life.”

Education cost has gone up across the world and parents and students as well, are looking for a speedy return on investment post course completion, explains O’Riordon. “They often ask what course should they pursue to earn good money? ” he says, adding that the right question should be, ‘Where do I want to be in next five years’? “Asking this question could help you find the right answers.”

For instance, it is going to be tough for a student, who is interested in civil engineering and wants to settle in the US, to find a good job. “ USA has brilliant infrastructure in place and a civil engineer may find it difficult to get a lucrative job. Whereas there is a huge market for infrastructure in India and industry qualified civil engineers may be in great demand,” informs O’Riordon.

The turbulent economic climate has led many overseas education destinations to close doors on students and migrant population. “But we are opening our visas for international students, informs O’Riordon. A registered institute here can give a Masters/ PhD student a one year extension post completion of course,” he adds.

There are other reasons that draw international students to Ireland. “Our educational institutions are in the top four per cent globally and the tuition fees are reasonable,” says O’Riordon, adding that they would be willing to welcome students who have the skills and can contribute to the agriculture, food sciences, medical devices, bio pharma, technology and IT, and finance sectors that drive Ireland`s economy.


Harshitha S shares her experience on student life in the mesmerizing island nation

I am happy that I was chosen as a scholar to pursue a one year MSc in Computing at the Dublin City University. The years of academic excellence achieved in India seemed to have been paid off in bounty.
My inkling for IT started at a very young age. As a child, I always dismantled the pocket video games given to me, just to explore as to where was ‘Mario’ coming from. And to date I still love unfolding the mystery, only this time by actually working on the coding without hoarding anything. I now want to revolutionize the IT world by providing a software platform that would be easy for the programmer to program and the user to use.

Studying in Ireland has been a wonderful experience. Whether it is the easy visa policies and the internship opportunities while studying, or the unique visa stay-back programme and opportunities for placements as part of the programmes in sciences, technology and business disciplines, the country has maintained its student friendly norms.

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