Established in 1845, the University College Cork (UCC) is an Irish university known for the quality of its academic programmes, the beauty of its campus and its vibrant student life. The first university in the world to be awarded the international Green Flag for environmental friendliness, UCC has around 19,000 students enrolled in its various undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Among them, around 3,000 form the international students chunk.
In this series of #Admissions Connect, we have Dr. Christopher Shepard, International Coordinator & Vice Chair, India Strategy Group of UCC who decodes the university for you. Know all about the admissions criteria, popular courses and the admission cycle of University College Cork.
Below are the edited excerpts:
Q.What is the strength of the international student community in the university? What about Indian students?A. We have around 3,000 international students at the university. Currently, the number of Indian students on campus is 150.
Q.What is unique about your university in terms of academic culture and overall student experience?A. At University College Cork, we nurture talent by providing a positive environment for teaching and learning and by placing research at the centre of the student experience. Over the last ten years, UCC has undergone a major capital improvement campaign, investing over â¬400 million in infrastructure so that our students have the best opportunities to learn and grow as individuals and scholars.
Some examples of UCC’s state-of-the-art facilities include the Boole Library, the â¬100 million Western Gateway Building, the Tyndall National Institute for ICT, Photonics and NanotechnologyâIreland’s Max Plank Instituteâand Beaufort Research. The Beaufort Laboratory is Ireland’s National Ocean Test Facility and includes the national renewable energy test tank as well as the wave, tidal and off-shore wind test site. Students can also avail the benefits of Mardyke Arena, which contains sports halls, a 25 metre swimming pool, fitness suites, squash courts, climbing wall, aerobics/dance studio, cricket and a UCC Human Performance Laboratory, making it one of the finest sports complexes in Ireland.
We believe that providing a positive environment helps students to develop their personalities as well as the skills which equip them to enter the work force.
Q.What are some of the popular programmes among students? What about Indian students?A. The popular courses for students are Computing Science, Data Science and Analytics, Biotech and Molecular Cell Biology. Engineering is also very popular.
Traditionally, Indian students would have come to UCC to undertake PhD research in applied subjects such as Engineering (Civil, Electrical and Renewable Energy), Physics, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Photonics, Nanotechnology, Information, Communication Technology (ICT) as well as Dairy Science. But, the numbers of masters and undergraduate students has been steadily growing with an increasing number looking at business and health science subjects like information systems, public health and nursing.
Q.What are the admission criteria for international graduate students?A. Before a student applies to a course during the enquiry process, we encourage them to visit our website and research the options available to him/her. From the pre-application stage, we provide complete guidance on what can be expected from the course, the career opportunities and further study options available. After the student decides on a course, we assess their application based on their educational background, interests, grades and recommendations. While we do everything we can to ensure that students are well counselled, it is very important that students do their own research.
Admissions at University College Cork are highly selective. We base our decision on academic performance, with consideration given to relevant experience if appropriate to the degree programme (especially at the postgraduate level). UCC has a strong tradition of excellence in teaching and research, with students gaining access to leading researchers, facilities and training. Many of our students progress to further studies (at the masters and doctoral level) at leading universities around the world. Therefore, it is very important that they have sufficient grounding in their discipline to enable them to succeed at UCC.
Q.Does your school offer financial aid to international students, particularly Indians? Please elaborate.A. UCC offers a range of competitive scholarships for all nationalities, including Indian students. In 2014, UCC awarded two Government of Ireland Scholarships for Masters Degrees in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Q.Many foreign students are worried about leaving the country because they do not know whether they will be able to find work to pay off their student debts. Do you guide your students in finding internships and jobs?A. UCC has a highly successful Careers Service Office, which helps our students to search for and secure employment and to develop skills such as C.V. and Resume Writing, Interview Techniques. The Careers Office has weekly job announcements and conducts campus recruitment fairs.
While there are jobs to be had in Ireland, it is also important for students to realise that UCC degrees are recognised and valued across the world. In recent years, UCC alumni include the senior vice president of Eli Lilly, three vice presidents of Intel and the current vice president of engineering at Qualcomm as well as the Chaired Professor of Physics at Cornell and the Director of the Nuclear Science Laboratory at MIT. Similarly in India, our graduates can be found in both industry and academia.
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