Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Higher Education in Ireland

Our trip to Ireland so far has been fantastic!  I have learned so many things that I know will have a huge impact on my studies in Higher Education Administration.

For example, on Tuesdsay, May 20, we had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Eugene Wall, the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick.  Dr. Wall is very knowledgeable not only about Ireland's academic system, but also about international education.  He was able to help us understand a number of key differences between higher education in American and in Ireland.  A few that stood out the most to me were:
  •  There are three sectors of Higher Education in Ireland:  Universities, Institutes of Technology, and a small private sector.
    • In Ireland, though, public education is considered superior to private education!
  • There are only 7 universities in the entire country of Ireland, while there are countless universities in America.
  • All universities are publicly funded based on the number of students enrolled.
  • Students pay one flat fee per year, and it is the same regardless of what they are studying.  You pay the same for education or medical!
    • If you are low-income, your fee is waived, and you get to go to college for free!
    • Financial means are not a factor, as college acceptance is completely based on merit!
Dr. Eugene Wall was eager to answer our questions, and I really enjoyed talking with him about education in Ireland!

-Chelsea McKendree

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