Tuesday 25 October 2016

Study in Denmark - and get €750 a month

Published 10/02/2016 | 02:30

Guidance counsellor, Aoife Walsh
Guidance counsellor, Aoife Walsh

Last week, this column explored some reasons why an Irish student may consider studying in Europe, such as a different selection process, lower fees and high quality courses in world-class universities. While there are many excellent options for Irish students all over Europe, this week I will focus on opportunities in one country in particular, Denmark.

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The university application process for Denmark opened on February 1 and remains open until March 15.

There are currently 12 institutions offering courses through English in Denmark, in areas including business, science, robotics and IT. Aarhus University, currently ranked higher than any Irish university in the UK-based Times Higher Education World University Rankings, offers courses in business, marketing and global management, catering for international students.

From a financial point of view, Denmark is of particular interest. There are no tuition fees for courses through English. In addition, every Danish student in higher education is entitled to grant support and, since EU citizens may apply for equal status in educational support, Irish students receive the same support as a Danish citizen, which can be as much as €750 a month. Students must take a part-time job in order to be eligible for this grant. This support is related to the duration of the course. And, if an Irish student qualifies for SUSI grant in Ireland, they may also claim this support for their studies in Europe.

Student accommodation in Denmark can be from €270 to €350 a month in most areas, and up to €500 in Copenhagen.

University entry is based on Leaving Certificate results and not CAO points. Students need to present with at least six subjects, including at least two higher level C3s, and D3s in the others. Ordinary level A and B grades will also be considered. Some courses may require certain relevant Leaving Certificate subjects, a portfolio, or an aptitude test for entry. Universities will also accept relevant qualifications from further education colleges.

The option of studying abroad may be intimidating to many students and parents. However, our young people are the most globalised generation ever and, as EU citizens, have an opportunity which was simply not as realistic as prospect to the generation who came before them.

While the option of studying in Denmark, or another European country may not be for everyone, it can be a great opportunity for students who are looking for a different university experience. Taking such an opportunity can help any CV stand out from the crowd, and Denmark is certainly worth a look.

For more information on studying through English in Europe see www.eunicas.ie.

Aoife Walsh is a guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin

Question: I wish to apply for a PLC course that will help me get into commerce in UCD if I don't get the points. Is there a specific one I should do and if so how do I find out what it is?

Aoife replies: Most, but not all, third-level courses accept FETAC qualifications for entry.

There is a simple way to find out if a particular third-level course accepts FETAC, and which FETAC courses they will consider.

As you are interested in a particular course we will use this as an example. However, the process outlined below can be used to see which FETAC qualifications any third level course will accept.

The qualifax.ie website is very helpful in this regard.

First, click on the Higher Education CAO link on the qualifax.ie course finder. Then, click on the course title (in this case Commerce at UCD), which will bring you to the Commerce/UCD page. Scroll down until you see a section entitled 'QQI/FET applicants.' Here, you will see information on which FETAC qualifications are accepted for entry to the course and any subject requirements.

In the case of Commerce in UCD the following course code is listed: 5M2012. This means that UCD will consider applications from graduates of this course. If this section doesn't appear it is quite likely there is no PLC entry route to this course.

The next step is to see where this course is offered. Students should copy the course code, click on the 'PLC Post Leaving Cert' link of the qualifax.ie course finder and paste the course code into 'course code' box.

It may be helpful to restrict the 'search by' to the county you live in as this will give a more manageable list of results.

The final step is to apply to one of these courses by contacting the PLC college directly.

It is prudent to check that the PLC college offers all subjects that may be required for entry to your third level course. In the case of Commerce in UCD, any student who does not achieve the required Leaving Cert maths grade will be expected to present a distinction in C20139 or 5N1833 maths for entry.

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