A Prestigious Irish University – University College Dublin (UCD)
Many of our readers have studied at various universities, some of which were very prestigious. Now, this category of readers will be able to compare a prestigious Western-European university to the one in which they received their 3rd level education. Even for our other readers, we think that this information will be useful.
Our comparison will be based on one of the best universities in Ireland - University College Dublin, which, along with Trinity College is the pride of the Irish educational system.
Let's start with the fact that UCD is located just five kilometres from the centre of Dublin and spread over an area of over 140 hectares, which is only thirty hectares less than the largest enclosed park in Europe - Phoenix Park. This is one of the largest student campuses in Western Europe.
University College Dublin has partnerships with universities around the world, allowing students to spend part of their studies in UCD in universities located in other countries. Foreign students, after they finish their studies in UCD have the right to remain in Ireland for one year to find work; having the right to a job, should they find such a source of income. This is also true for other universities in Ireland.
University College Dublin is included in the top 1% of the best universities in the world. It currently educates 25,000 students, 20% of whom have come to the university from countries outside of Ireland. After all, this university has professors teaching in over two hundred fields of study.
For those students who do not live on college campuses, there are some excellent opportunities to get to UCD. This is made possible by the fact that twenty five bus routes pass the university, along with the LUAS tram line and DART rail system.
Every student who has graduated from a university knows that there is more to a student’s life than study. Even though any graduate can vividly remember their campus life, UCD provides much more recreational opportunities than most conventional universities. In UCD there are about a hundred active, student run clubs that allow everyone to find something they are interested in doing outside of class.
There are clubs for people with an interest in music, chess, photography, computer sciences, theatre, Muslim history an literature, English literature, gaming (from video games to board and card games), cinematography and travel, (which, incidentally, is the group that organizes trips to Ireland and abroad) to name a few!
Sports clubs are also fruitful in UCD. There are athletics, basketball, football, canoeing, golf, rugby, sailing, swimming, tennis and martial arts clubs, among others. There is also a climbing wall, a sports hall and rooms for handball and badminton.
There are also plenty of outdoor sports facilities: artificial and natural fields for hockey, rugby, tennis and golf can be found all over the campus. Moreover, the National Hockey Stadium can be found in UCD. Please note that the level of skill present in the university sports teams allows some of the members to play at a national and even international level.
Also, UCD provides its students with a variety of sports and fitness centres, which include an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a sauna with a Jacuzzi and an athletic hall.
Separately, I want to focus on the living conditions of students staying in the campus. The housing on the campus built like an area of apartment blocks where each apartment has a dining room and kitchen. For foreign students housing is guaranteed and the type of housing depends only on the wishes of the student. Students wishing to live on campus can choose not only the number of roommates, but also the various services they would like to receive during their stay.
Especially, I want to emphasize the opportunity to buy relatively cheap and filling cooked food, catered for every taste in the educational buildings of the university. I don’t think many universities can boast the ability to feed everyone nutritious food at any time during the student day.
And finally, a little bit about the environment students, not only in UCD, but in most of the universities of Ireland, will live in. A simple dress code, lack of desire to stand out, democracy in communication and a friendly attitude to all is what distinguishes the local Irish students from those in other countries. Perhaps this is what enables graduates of this university to retain such good contact with their former classmates, ever after graduation. We think that this is one of the main components of a prestigious foreign education.