In 2012/13, Northern Ireland became popular in terms of university applications. There were applications not only from home students but those from the European Union and elsewhere got the chance to study at the University of Ulster, Queen’s University in Belfast or one of the six regional colleges in Northern Ireland. This prompted record application levels and set a trend that is expected to continue over the next few years. English is spoken as a first language by almost all of the Northern Ireland population.
Well, there are many benefits that students can expect to find in Northern Ireland.
Receive world class education
Northern Ireland has a reputation for education excellence and is home to two global Universities – Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. Every year both universities welcome students from all over the world to study on their campuses.
Ulster University has four campuses across Northern Ireland and is a young, dynamic and innovative university. They provide affordable tuition fees and high graduate employability – 94 per cent of graduates in work or further study within six months of graduating. Also, they offer outstanding UK study experience that prepares international students to be leaders in their future careers. In addition, Ulster University was shortlisted for University of the Year 2022 by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.
Queen’s University Belfast is part of the prestigious Russell Group of UK research intensive universities. They combine excellence in research and education with a student-centred ethos.
Queen’s rich heritage, history and cutting-edge facilities mean that it has a global reputation for teaching and research excellence. It also has a thriving Students’ Union with over 215 clubs and societies, state-of-the-art sporting facilities and library services. Queen’s is dedicated to student employability and their strong links with industry.
Experience a world famous culture scene and peaceful Irish countryside
In 2018, Northern Ireland was ranked as the number one place in the world to visit by Lonely Planet. Northern Ireland has an award-winning food and drink scene. You can dine at Michelin Star restaurants in Belfast, sample delicious seafood in Holywood, or try some old favourites such as Ulster Fry, Tobacco Onions, etc.
The capital city of Belfast have been awarded the title of UNESCO City of Music. It’s also the birthplace of the most famous ship in the world – Titanic. You can stand in the spot where the Titanic was launched from in 1911, explore Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Caroline and take afternoon tea at the Titanic Hotel Belfast. There are many attractions in Belfast such as Titanic Belfast, Dome at Victoria Square, Botanic Gardens, Ulster Museum, Belfast Castle, HMS Caroline, Cave Hill Country Park, Belfast Zoological Gardens, etc.
The iconic song ‘Stairway To Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin was first played live in the Ulster Hall. Many American presidents have Ulster roots, including Jackson, Buchanan, and Arthur. Game of Thrones was filmed mostly in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland is also great for shopping. You can shop for luxury brands, independent designers and environmentally friendly fashion in Belfast or hunt out something unique in Derry-Londonderry’s Dickensian Craft Village. South of Belfast are the stunning Mourne Mountains, where you can scale Northern Ireland’s tallest peak, Slieve Donard, or follow the C.S. Lewis trail. Author of ‘The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe’, C.S. Lewis was born in Belfast, and its surrounding area was the inspiration for the magical world of Narnia.
Cost of living is affordable
Northern Ireland has the lowest student cost of living in the UK, with an average monthly living cost (without rent) in Belfast of £682 per person.
For accommodation, you can expect to pay around £400 per month for a room in a shared house (excluding bills), and even less you live outside of a city centre. A three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant will cost about £20 per person, with takeaway meals and other options costing a fraction of that price.
Reasonable tuition fees
There are a range of scholarships offered at Northern Irish universities including Study UK’s GREAT Scholarships in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University.
Easy to get around Travel is easy and affordable. You can easily visit the Republic of Ireland, the UK and Europe. There are regular flights, trains and sea ferry crossings so you can explore exciting destinations such as London, Dublin. Dublin has international airport that link it with mainland Britain, Europe and the rest of the world.