Top 10 Universities in Ireland for International Students

The North Atlantic island of Ireland is home to some of the most beautiful landmarks in the world, as well as some very famous alcoholic beverages, including Guinness.

The beautiful capital city of Dublin, and other important cities in Ireland, are home to some of the best universities in Europe, providing an excellent opportunity for international students who wish to study away from home in a stunning and vibrant environment while gaining knowledge in world-renowned institutions. In this article, we will be going over the best universities in Ireland for international students.

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How satisfied are international students studying in Ireland?

According to a study done in 2015, none other than Ireland, is the country with the happiest international students, scoring 9 out of 10 on average, based on multiple metrics. The students primarily praise the multicultural mix, great student services, innovative programs, and the general sense of community present in Irish universities.

What are the most popular programs in Ireland for International Students?

With English being the official language, students have an unlimited number of options when it comes to the program they choose, whether it comes to bachelor’s, master’s, or a Ph.D. program.

Statistically speaking, the most popular courses in Ireland are in the Environmental Sciences, Law, History, Economics, and IT.

How many international students study in Ireland?

There are currently over 32.000 international students studying in Ireland. There is also an impressively large number of non-EEA students, who despite the much larger fees compared to Irish and EU students, decide to come and study in the country.

Ireland’s universities are the most popular for students coming from The United States, China, Canada, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia.

What is the most prestigious university in Ireland?

Founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592, Trinity College in Dublin is Ireland’s oldest and most prestigious university. It was founded as an equivalent to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in England.

Some notable alumni include famous writers and poets Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett, scientists Ernest Walton and William Rowan Hamilton, as well as a few Irish presidents and high government officials.


Best Universities in Ireland for International Students

1. Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin is Ireland’s best university for international students, consistently ranking around the 150th spot in the world. It has a wonderful campus located in the heart of Dublin and Is home to over 17.000 students. Trinity is well known around the world for its research and high standards of education.

TCU ranks as the 92nd best in the world when it comes to graduate employability. It also works very hard to encourage the student’s creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, by creating different student-led projects. It has many societies and clubs, including international ones, which play a huge part in the experience for foreign students.

2. University College Dublin

University College Dublin is Ireland’s most global university, with students from around 135 countries. It is also Ireland’s largest university when it comes to the number of enrolled students, at over 30,000. There are 5 colleges at UCD, which are all located in an impressive 333-acre campus in Belfield, 4 kilometers south of Dublin’s city center.

UCD also has different clubs and societies, as well as events, competitions, and plenty more. Students often rave about the sheer number of activities that you can be involved in. As Ireland’s most international university, UCD provides a perfect opportunity for foreign students who want to live in one of Europe’s best cities, as well as experience an amazing student life.

3. NUI Galway

Ranked among the top 1% of universities in the world, NUI Galway is constantly climbing the ranks and becoming one of Ireland’s top educational institutions. It is located in the friendly city of Galway in the west of Ireland and is home to a large number of international students from 120 countries.

NUI Galway is one of the top universities in Ireland for international students, as over 98% of its graduates are either employed or continue with their studies within 6 months of graduating. There is no shortage of courses to choose from, spread across 5 colleges.

4, University College Cork

Located in Ireland’s second-largest city, lies the historic University College Cork. Built in the 1840s, its campus is one of the most beautiful and memorable in the world. Apart from the rich tradition, University College Cork is now a modern institution, winning awards in multiple categories, including sustainability, education, and environmental friendliness.

UCC offers a great opportunity for international students, providing them with not only a world-class education, but also an International Education Office, which was specifically created to help international students with information, program advice, and social life.

5. Dublin City University

Dublin City University is one of the leading universities in Ireland for international students. It started operating in 1980 and now has over 17.000 enrolled students, with multiple campuses throughout Dublin. The most notable thing about DCU, is their introduction of paid job placements, as part of their degree programs, enabling students to gain valuable skills and work experience way before graduating. This, and many more things, make it an attractive option for students from Ireland and over 100 other countries.

6. University of Limerick

Laying on both sides of the river Shannon, 5 kilometers from the center of Limerick, is the 340-acre campus of the University of Limerick. It was the first established university following Irish independence in 1922. It is now one of the more respectable educational institutions in Ireland, with over 16.000 students. They, too, offer a work placement option for its students, in the length of 8 months.

International students have the option to stay in one of the seven village communities as part of the university, with choices that can suit all budgets. These communities provide a great place to live and include a shared kitchen, while also providing an excellent opportunity to meet and befriend your co-students.

7. Maynooth University

Next on our list of top universities in Ireland for international students is Maynooth University, which is located in the only university town in Ireland, Maynooth. It is one of the youngest universities in the country, established in 1997. It is also one of the smallest, yet fastest growing universities in Ireland, with around 13.000 students from many different countries currently enrolled. It has won many accolades, including being the only university outside of North America to be mentioned in The Princeton Review of Best Colleges.

In recent years, the university is becoming more and more popular with foreign students, thanks to their efforts of not only promoting their world-class programs and facilities but also Ireland as a great country to study and live in.

8. TU Dublin

TU Dublin is Ireland’s first and only technological university, established on 1st January 2019, after the merger of three existing institutes of technology. Based on student population, it’s the country’s second-largest university, with 28.500 students. It consists of three campuses within Dublin and its suburbs. Despite being a technological school, it also aims to bring value to the arts, business, and science.

As more people learn about it, TU Dublin is expected to become a household name for students from around the world. Their smaller class sizes allow for an easier time adjusting to the new environment, and they also have a dedicated international student office, ensuring that their international students are supported throughout their studies.

9. Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Located on St.Stephen’s Green in Dublin, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland is the country’s first private university and is responsible for the speciality of surgery in Ireland. There is also a medical school within the university, which is the country’s largest with over 3.000 students from 60 countries. It offers undergraduate degrees in Medicine, Physiotherapy, and Pharmacy and is a great option for any aspiring health care workers, with over 17.000 alumni working around the world.

10. National College of Ireland

We end our list of best universities in Ireland for international students with National College of Ireland, a not-for-profit, government-aided higher education institution based in Dublin, offering full and part-time undergraduate and graduate programs in many different fields, but specializing in finance, fintech, psychology, management, computing, cybersecurity, and more.

International students play a big part at NCI, with people from 80 countries currently enrolled. The university offers tremendous help and support to its students when it comes to finding employment, often organizing events in an effort to bring companies closer to their students.


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