Our Ambassador from India and student at Letterkenny Institute of Technology Goutham Siddhaarth Moratuplym Shanmugavadivu Kuppurajhu offers us an insight into the differences between studying in Ireland and India.
There are thousands of colleges in India, each providing education in different ways, but when you arrive at a college in another country you will get a completely different experience. That was what I discovered when I came to Ireland to study for my Master’s. Some Master’s options take one year to complete here whereas in India it is two years. In Ireland the course modules are concise and focused on the area of study. There are only two modules taught in any given semester compared to four to five back home in India. The course is divided so that the practical elements are worth twice as much as theoretical classes. I have found this to be amazingly helpful as we can experience the real world applications of our studies instead of just focusing on heavy theory.
How you learn?
Compared to India where we learn referring to the notes given in class or the book recommended for the subject, here you must also do some self-directed research on a subject. There is only an overview and discussion of the topics each day, no particular books recommended, no lengthy notes given. Understanding and gaining a vast knowledge on it instead of just sticking to what a lecturer shares is what you should acquire. Aside from gaining knowledge, the environment in which we learn is quite different. Firstly, there are students from various different cultures, and secondly, the student/teacher relationship is very different. Unlike in India where we reference everyone as Sir or Madam we instead call out their names. Being from India it was strange to get used to as in India we treat our teachers almost next to God and must show formal respect. In Ireland it is much more relaxed and you feel like an equal.
How you are assessed?
The assessment is based on the practical assignment and the theoretical examination similar to that in India. However, in Masters courses only a few subjects will have a theoretical exam — the rest of the subjects would be assessed on the practical work. Here you will be given a task on a weekly basis which you have to complete and submit before the deadline. Failure to do so will affect your grades drastically. Copy and paste is strictly prohibited! You are not allowed to copy work from any source like the internet or from a friend’s notes as it is. You must be able to formulate your own opinion and interpretation based on what you have read. At the end of every course there is a dissertation which is a research project that needs to be done presenting new and innovative ideas. In India it is somewhat different and you can earn points towards your grades just for attendance which does not happen here in Ireland.
How you get your grades?
The marking scheme in Ireland is similar to that in India, the overall credit is 100 for each subject, which is divided into practical work and theoretical examination. However, the awards given based on scores differs slightly, while in India a first class honours is given on 75+ marks, here it is awarded on 70+, but the passing marks are similar, at 40. The marking scheme in India is more lenient compared to Ireland. Failure in one module can change the whole outcome of your degree, if you fail one then you are exempted from getting a first-class honours. Therefore, you should always remember the two sayings I rely on to get a good grade, “No Plagiarism!” & “Deadlines are important!”
No matter where you decide to study always remember that hard work and a willingness to learn will help you to get the grades you want.