Ireland is a magical place located in Western Europe, with a population of 5 million people. It enjoys breath-taking natural beauty and lively modern cities. Ireland has a long and fascinating history and a distinctive, celtic culture. From traditional dance, exemplified by the world-famous Riverdance, to passionate rock- and pop-music (for example U2, Westlife, Enya and The Cranberries), the whole island is filled with music. From the works of Joyce and Yeats' poems to Wilde's plays, literary genius envelops the island.

As a member of the European Union, Ireland is extremely active in trade and investment and is often referred to as the "Celtic Tiger" and "Europe's Silicon Valley" due to its renowned expertise in ICT, (and the world's second largest exporter of software, according to the IDA). Ireland has topped IBM's list of "the best destination for global overseas investment" for seven consecutive years. It is the most favoured investment country for the world's top 500 enterprises and one of the most popular countries for emigration among China's high net-worth population. Ireland was selected as the friendliest country in the world by the Lonely Planet Guide. In recent years, more and more people have chosen to study, live, work, travel, and invest in Ireland.
Why Ireland?
The Advantages of
Irish Private Secondary Schools
Boasts some of the highest academic standards in the world
Ireland's world-class education system is highly regarded internationally. Among EU countries, Ireland has the highest proportion of people aged 30-34 with higher education, reaching 56.3%. Nearly 30% of students study in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and the proportion of engineers and scientists in the population is the highest in Europe. The Irish education system ranks 10th in the world, especially in the academic level in Science and IT, on a par with renowned British and American schools.
A Safe and Friendly Nation
Ireland is one of the countries with the lowest crime rate in the world and ranks among the top 20 in the 2019 Global Peace Index. Ireland was selected as the most friendly country in the world, by the Lonely Planet Guide.
Native English Environment
While Irish is spoken daily by a small number of people, English is the principal language of the country. Following Brexit, Ireland is now the only native English-speaking country in the EU.
Comfortable Living Environment
Ireland is known as the "Emerald Isle" with a very moderate and pleasant climate. According to the global annual quality of life ranking of the United Nations human development report in 2020, Ireland ranks 2ndamong 189 countries.
Overall Employment Prospects
Irish universities attach great importance to students' futures and employment prospects after graduation. Ireland is a global innovation centre and key cutting-edge science and technology research is led by Irish universities. All major colleges and universities have career advice centres, which are closely linked with well-known enterprises, creating a high-quality, responsive employment platform for graduates. International students who graduate in Ireland can enjoy a graduation visa for up to 24 months after graduation, allowing them to start their career and consolidate their learning in Ireland. As Ireland is home to so many international companies, working with one of these can lead to further postings overseas.
European Headquarters of Multinational Companies
Ireland's investment environment is internationally recognised as world-class. Many global companies, such as HUAWEI, TikTok, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Facebook, PayPal and Amazon, have set up their European headquarters or R&D base in Ireland. In addition, 20 of the world's top 25 financial services companies are based in Ireland, 8 of the top 10 industrial automation enterprises have settled in Ireland and 14 of the top 15 pharmaceutical technology companies have chosen Ireland as their production base. Ireland has proved to be a powerful magnet for successfully attracting investment from leading enterprises and high-growth multinational corporations from around the world. Aside from Huawei and TikTok, 25 Chinese companies have recently chosen to establish operations in Ireland, including Wuxi Biologics (the largest life sciences investment by a Chinese company into Europe to date), Legend Biotech, Bank of China and ICBC.
Booming Economy
In 2020, Ireland became the only growing EU economy. Ireland's economic recovery is mainly due to the strong growth of exports of many MNCs in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, dairy products and computer services. Ireland's minimum wage is the second highest in the EU, at 12.9 euros per hour. Ireland's per capita GDP ranks third in the world, and its economic growth rate has ranked first among developed countries for seven consecutive years.
A Warm Relationship Between China and Ireland
In recent years, the close ties underpinning China-Ireland relations has remained consistently strong. China has become Ireland's fourth largest trading partner after the European Union, Britain and the United States. China is the largest export market for Irish pork and the fifth largest export market for Irish food and beverages. Exchanges between the two peoples are a key pillar of China-Ireland relations. At present, nearly 50,000 Chinese are studying, working and living in Ireland. The number of Irish going to work and study in China has increased year on year.
High Teaching Quality
The quality of Irish teaching is reflected in the high academic achievement of the teachers, the large proportion of high scores in the Leaving Certificate examinations, the high enrolment rate and high admission rate in famous universities. Most teachers have a master's degree. Most private schools have a high proportion of students with more than 500 credits (maximum score is 625) in the Leaving Certificate examinations - and the average score is much higher than the national average score of 350 in Ireland. The proportion of graduates from private schools entering higher education is generally more than 95%, far higher than the national average of 85%. At the same time, most of the graduates from private schools go to renowned (prestigious) universities in Ireland, the UK, the United States and other countries. Many celebrities and dignitaries in Ireland have also graduated from private schools – the Irish private school system nurtures successful people across all sectors.
Easy Access to the UK
Ireland and the UK fully recognise the academic achievements and qualifications of students from each country. Students participating in the IrishLeaving Certificate can directly apply to universities in the UK through the UCAS (British Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) system and the application process is consistent with that of local high school graduates in the UK.
Small Class Numbers
Private schools are small in scale, with low teacher-student ratios (the teacher-student ratio in some schools is about 1:10) and small class sizes (generally only around 20 students), so every student will get the maximum attention from their teachers.
Flexible Curriculum
In Ireland, students can choose the most suitable subjects according to their future study and career plans. For Chinese students, English and Mathematics are the only two compulsory subjects for the Leaving Certificate Exam, the other four subjects can be freely selected. Private schools provide students with a variety of courses tutored to a high standard.
Mandarin Added to Leaving Certificate Examination
Chinese will officially become a subject of the Leaving Certificate examination in 2022. Chinese students can also choose Chinese as one of the six subjects of the Leaving Certificate Exam, which can undoubtedly boost their total score.
Unique Transition Year
The transition year is original and unique in Ireland. Generally, after three years of study in junior cycle, there is a one-year transition year and then two years of senior cycle. The transition year is designed to provide students with opportunities to acquire knowledge and life skills in different fields, gain broad experience in a variety of topics and plan their future study and career path.
Ethos of All-round Development of Students
Every private school in Ireland regards their students' extracurricular activities as being as important as learning, nurturing true, rounded development of the individual. Private schools have a wide selection of extracurricular activities and supporting facilities, including all kinds of sports, and nurturing skills in music, art, dance, drama, performing arts, speech and debate. Art subjects are embedded in the educational system of Irish secondary schools and can even be selected as an examination subject for the Leaving Certificate examination.
Schools are Well Funded
Although they are private schools, they are part-funded by the Irish government, mainly to pay teachers' salaries, and assure compliance with the expected quality standards of teaching provision. In addition, religious trusts, tuition income and alumni donations are sources of funding for private schools. Adequate funding also allows private schools to invest more in teaching and facilities.
The annual tuition fees for private high schools in Ireland are generally between 20,000 and 25,000 euros including accommodation, the lowest costs among the six leading English study destinations. Irish secondary school graduates can apply for undergraduate university degree courses in Ireland, or in overseas destinations such as Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the United States and Canada. In particular, they can seamlessly apply to universities in the UK. It is highly cost-effective to spend less than half the cost of the tuition fees charged in the UK, study in a high-quality private secondary school in Ireland and then to apply to a British university. In addition to the cost saving aspect, this allows the student to enjoy the many quality of life advantages we listed earlier, whilst later broadening their learning and cultural perspective at a university in the UK or beyond.
Fine Tradition of Learning
The earliest private schools in Ireland were established in the 15th century and many schools have a long history. Most of the older schools were monasteries or religious schools, established by the church, so they have preserved an ethos of academic endeavour for hundreds of years.
Diverse Culture
The proportion of international students in Irish private secondary schools is generally between 10% - 30% and the proportion of students from a single country is no more than 5%. Students have the opportunity to interact and make friends with other students from diverse cultures and to broaden their international horizons and understanding. This reduces the likelihood of students of a single, visiting nationality, ‘grouping’ together, which can sometimes prove to be a barrier to fully embracing the opportunity to grow in a diverse environment.
Fair School Environment
Irish private secondary schools emphasize equal opportunities for students regardless of gender, identity, family status, sexual orientation, religion, disability or race.