425 Omani students to attend Irish colleges
By staff - Sat Aug 13, 1:59 pm
The first group of students from the Middle Eastern country will start their studies in September and October at six Irish colleges in a move that is expected to be worth €4 million each year to the colleges, with a further estimated €500,000 to the local economy.
Ms O’Reilly said yesterday the students would undertake degrees across the entire range of courses including engineering, hotel management, food nutrition, business, law and science, with engineering the most popular area.
She said the students had done their Omani Leaving Certificate. “Their weakness will be in English so many will undertake foundation courses for one year” and most will take the courses at the college where they will then study for their degrees. The students, roughly half male and half female, are expected to stay with families for their first year in Ireland.
Dublin Institute of Technology, the National College of Ireland, Dublin City University, Carlow Institute of Technology, Dundalk Institute of Technology and NUI Maynooth will participate this year in the studies programme.
It follows a decision in June by Oman to increase its undergraduate scholarship programme for studies abroad to 1,500 each year for the next five years.
Ms O’Reilly, a founding director of Cross Cultural Programmes Services, which promotes studies in Ireland by international students, said that following the announcement she met the Omani ministry of higher education and secured 425 scholarship places for students choosing to study here.
The honorary consul said the development was in line with the Irish Government’s international education strategy and represented a significant increase in the number of international students enrolling in Irish higher education institutions in the coming years.
“Irish education is well-known and highly regarded by the Omani government particularly Dublin Institute of Technology and the Royal College of Surgeons, both of which have been actively working in the Omani market for up to 20 years, and have maintained close contacts with their graduates and with government ministries during that time,” Ms O’Reilly said.
The dean of the college of engineering and built environment in Dublin Institute of Technology, Dr Mike Murphy, said “this is a resounding success story for Irish education and must be viewed as a major win for Ireland in the face of strong competition from our international competitors”.
Oman is one of 16 countries whose citizens can enter Ireland as tourists for 90 days without a visa, if they already have a valid UK visa.