Unlock Ireland

Education in Ireland is a key factor in Immigration Investment

For the majority of investors in Ireland’s Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP), the education of their children is a major factor in their decision to pursue residency rights in Ireland. Applicant’s in Ireland’s IIP can apply for permission for themselves and can include their spouse/civil partner and all children under the age of 18 to reside in the State and to attend educational institutions. Dependent children between the ages of 18 and 24 will also be considered if they are in or going into full time education.

In recognition of this, the Irish government allows investors to gain a €50,000 discount in the total investment commitment for the higher education fees payable if they have children who wish to attend university in Ireland.

The benefits of a full education in Ireland are attractive. English speaking and offering some of the best universities in Europe, Ireland offers unique opportunities for students and for graduates. Two of the top four universities in Europe for educating entrepreneurs are based in Dublin, namely Trinity College and University College Dublin. In addition due to its access to the EU market, graduates are welcomed by many of the world’s top companies with headquarters in Ireland.

Graduates from Trinity College Dublin founded more companies than graduates from any other European university over the last five years. Two of the top 4 universities in Europe for educating entrepreneurs are in Dublin.

(Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Thinkstock)

Third-level education in Ireland comprises broadly three sectors

  1. University
  2. Technological
  3. Colleges of Education

Universities in Ireland are significantly State-funded but are generally autonomous. There are 7 core universities across Ireland.

There are currently over 32,000 international students studying in Ireland availing of the extensive range of courses available. Nurturing international students and helping them adapt to a new culture is what the Irish Universities do best with a dedicated International office to cater for your needs and an exciting range of clubs, societies and support structures to help you settle into university life.

Discount for Education Expenses

To facilitate investors who wish to educate themselves or their family members in Irish higher education institutions, an investor may avail of a discount on their total investment amount for any educational expenses that they intend to commit to in Ireland.|

– Education expenses must be for an Irish University or Institute of Technology
– Expenses must be for the investor and/or their family member who has been accepted
on an academic programme.
– Expenses must be indicated as part of the application process
– Maximum discount allowable is €50,000 within first 5 years of permission being granted


Fees for non-EU undergraduate students typically range between €10,000-€20,000 for students studying business, engineering and science, while they climb to between €40,000-€55,000 for those studying medicine. Post-graduate non-EU students typically pay between €10,000 and €35,000.

However, individuals and their family members with the benefit of IIP residency qualify for the discounted local rates which would amount to circa €5,500 – €7,000 per academic year for an undergraduate course. This is a significant benefit of the Irish programme.

Entry Requirements

The Leaving Certificate is the Irish States’ second level examination used for the purposes of selecting university courses, if students attend school in Ireland they can apply through this route. Alternatively the International Baccalaureate (IB) is also recognised.

If applicants don’t have either of these qualifications, they can submit their home country qualifications. Entry requirements are set by individual schools for each course. There’s a separate entry exam for medicine courses if you’re not from Ireland or the UK.

Student Living Costs in Ireland

The costs of living in Ireland can vary across the different regions; students should expect to spend anywhere between 550 – 1,000 EUR/month.

Average costs of living in Irish cities (including accommodation costs):

  • Dublin: 1,100 – 1,800 EUR/month
  • Cork: 860 – 1,400 EUR/month
  • Galway and other smaller cities: 800 – 1,100 EUR/month

Accommodation costs for students in Ireland Higher education institutions offer accommodation in student residence halls, which usually costs above the European average of 200 – 300 EUR. Many of the top institutions have purpose-built student residences for international students.

Apart from residence halls, you can rent/share an apartment or choose to live with an Irish family.

The average accommodation prices for students in Ireland are:
  • Student living alone: 400 – 900 EUR/month
  • Student living with partner/colleagues: 450 – 550 EUR/month
  • Student living on campus: 300 – 650 EUR/month
Other costs associated with accommodation::
  • Utilities: around 30 – 50 EUR/month
  • Internet: up to 60 EUR/month

Primary & Secondary Level (School System)

Ireland has an excellent school system and makes available free public schooling to all investor dependents. There are also a number of renowned private schools in Ireland that offer the Irish Leaving Certificate and there are three international schools that provide the International Baccalaureate (IB).

In 2018 ,the renowned Nord Anglia International School opened an international private school on a state of the art campus only six miles from Dublin CBD. 1 in 3 students of Nord Anglia go to the world’s top 100 universities. Nord Anglia is part of a family of 69 international schools in 29 countries and has 3 schools in Hong Kong.


The Leaving Certificate is the Irish States’ second level examination used for the purposes of selection of university education. The course provides students with a broad and balanced education while allowing for some specialisation. It is viewed by many in Europe as the gold standard in pre-university preparation, similar to the UK A-Levels, and allowing students to study six subjects to a very advanced level.

Certain private schools in Ireland have dedicated pathway programmes for international students that have a particular course and/or university in mind (e.g. Medicine in Trinity College or Veterinary in University College Dublin)

Unlock Ireland provides every assistance possible in providing the latest information on Irish schools and access to our network in Ireland. This is in order to assist interested investors, in making the best choices for their children. We have a strictly no-fee and no commission based partnership with all of the top private schools that welcome international students in Ireland and accordingly we can offer independent and un-biased information and advice.