“Your talent is a seed; cultivate it, and in no time, you will harvest successMatshona Dhliwayo, Zimbabwean philosopher

For decades, Ireland has been overshadowed by its bigger neighbour, the United Kingdom (and many people still believe incorrectly that it is a constituent part of the UK). Since Brexit, Ireland is the only English-speaking country in the European Union and it has been part of the Eurozone for many years. Although Ireland is not part of the Schengen Zone (meaning African students coming to study in Ireland, will need an additional visa to travel to mainland Europe), Irish degrees and diplomas are fully recognised across Europe.  Despite its small size and population, Ireland contains some of the world’s best universities; these academic institutions offer exceptional opportunities for higher learning and offer many programs for students to choose from.  Below is a list of the best universities in Ireland with a short review so you can find the best school for you. We have also noted their ranking (where applicable) in the 2021 world university rankings provided by QS and Times Higher Education (THE). Those institutions denoted with an asterisk(*) are institutions with which Seed partner school DIFC has strong relationships. This means that students coming to DIFC for an International Foundation or Master’s Preparation program have greater opportunities to be admitted into one of these institutions.


Established in 1592, Trinity College in Dublin is the oldest university in the Republic of Ireland. The university is a stone’s throw away from the Irish house of parliament. The excellent location makes the university an ideal environment for its students who are studying political science.  The university also offers a vast range of courses. Trinity College in Dublin takes its student’s interests as a priority. It does so by assigning each student with a tutor and provides career advisory services to all students across the board. QS: #101 THS: #155=


Founded in 1854 as the Catholic University of Ireland, today it is commonly referred to as UCD. Most African students are attracted to the university due to the strong academic curriculum and research coupled with a holistic experience.  The university has six colleges and multiple research institutes and centers, with each college having its graduate school for postgraduates students.  University College Dublin has produced world famous people like James Joyce, a renowned Irish novelist. Three Irish Presidents are also alumni of UCD! QS: #177 THS: #251-300


The university is a renowned surgical college since it was granted a royal charter in 1784. It’s Ireland’s largest medical school. The university has expanded and offers post-graduate courses in bereavement studies and healthcare technologies. It also offers courses in physiotherapy and pharmacy. Unusually for European medical schools, over 70% of seats for its undergraduate medicine course are reserved for students coming from outside the European Union! THS: #201-250


Its located on the edge of Europe and ranked among the top university in the world. It was established in 1845 and is recognized internationally for its excellence. The university has established partnerships with key cultural organizations. Galway is renowned as a place where arts and culture are celebrated and shared with the world. QS: #238 THS: #301-350


Located in Cork in the south-west of the country, it was founded in 1845 as one of three Queen’s Colleges (the other two were located in Belfast and Galway). It was the first university to be awarded the international Green Flag for environmental friendliness. The university is a long-established institution with a distinguished history The university offers degree programs in arts, business and law, medicine and health, science, engineering, and food science. QS: #286 THS: #301-350


Established in 1975, Dublin City University is regarded as one of the world’s leading young universities. It is Ireland’s fastest-growing university and has a strong reputation for world-class research. 22% of the students are international students, representing many different nationalities. QS: #439 THS: #501-600


Founded in 1972, it was given university status in 1989. Today the University of Limerick is highly regarded and is particularly known for its Co-Op programs. All students are eligible for an 8-month work placement co-ordinated by the university. The university has built a network of over 1600 employers globally and the University of Limerick’s Co=Op program is now one of the biggest in Europe. Over the years it has been affectionately known as Ireland’s American University as it has adopted certain elements of the US Higher Education System, including Co-Op and Grade Point Averages (GPA). QS: #511-520 THS: #501-600


Maynooth University is located just outside and is very well connected to the capital city, Dublin. The university consists of 2 campuses – an older, southern campus with buildings dating back to the 1800s and a more modern campus across the road to the north. With 13,000 students, it is one of Ireland’s smallest universities but it is also fast-growing. It was only formed as a university in 1997, yet it has quickly developed a burgeoning reputation for the quality of its education.  QS: #701-750 THS: #401-500


The TU Dublin, as it is commonly referred to, was established in January 2019 , making it Ireland’s youngest university. It is where the arts, business, sciences, engineering, and technology converge. It’s the second-largest third–level institution in Ireland. The campus comprises 20,000 students from every part of the world, making it an exciting place to learn. And, despite its tender age, the university already has an academic reputation to rival universities that are in some cases 100s of years older! QS: #801-1000 THS: #801-1000