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Basic Information about Belgium

The Kingdom of Belgium is located in Western Europe, at the heart of the European Union. It is bounded by France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the North Sea. The country’s capital is Brussels. Its population is 11 million. Belgium is a federal state with three language based parts: he Dutch speaking Flemish Community, the French Community and the small German speaking Community. Brussels is officially bilingual and in fact multilingual with English widely spoken.

The country prides itself on its medieval art cities such as Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, Liège, Mons and Tournai. Due to its central location and its excellent transport system the other megalopolises of Western Europe such as London, Paris, or Amsterdam, are only a one or two hours train journey away. The capital Brussels is one of the world’s great multicultural cities, home to the main institutions of the European Union, with a very high number of Embassies, international organisations and multinational companies, and a large and diverse expat community.

The Higher Education System

Belgium’s Educational institutions, of which some date back to the Middle Ages and are amongst the oldest in the world, are known worldwide for their outstanding academic reputation. They offer the broadest scale of study subjects, ranging from bio engineering to fine arts, from aeronautics to nuclear medicine. The higher education system in Belgium is part of the so-called European Higher Education Area and comprises three ‘cycles’: the first encompasses Bachelor programmes, the second, Master programmes, and the third, PhD’s.

There are three types of higher education institutions in Belgium: universities, university colleges and postgraduate training institutions. An ever growing number of institutions of higher learning provide 12 programmes in English.


Tuition Fees and Living Costs

Depending on the programme, the tuition fees are Euro 6,000 to Euro 8,500. Additional fees for non- EU students vary according to the programme. The estimated cost of living (accommodation, food, transport, utilities) is between Euro 4,500 and Euro 10,000 per month.


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Basic Information about Austria

Located in Central Europe, Austria is a naturally beautiful country with pastoral landscapes, stunning mountain vistas and timeless cities steeped in history and culture. Austria is home to over 8 million people and shares its borders with both Germany and the Czech Republic to the North, Slovakia and Hungary to the East, Slovenia and Italy to the South, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the West. The official language of Austria is German. Austria’s past as a European power and its cultural environment has spawned world-class artists in various art forms but most notably music. Austria has been the birthplace of many famous scientists, Nobel Prize winners and composers such as Mozart and Strauss, and their works continue to inspire.

The Higher Education System

There is a wide variety of higher educational institutions in Austria. 22 Austrian universities offer a broad range of study options for students. If you would like to study music, theatre, film, fine or applied arts, 6 Austrian Universities of the Arts offer their students creative education programmes. Austria also offers 246 degree programmes ( at 20 Universities of Applied Sciences in addition to the universities.

In addition, there are 12 private universities offering top class academic education. The postsecondary sector includes Teacher Training Colleges and Institutes. Some 500 different study options are available in Austria ( About 1/5 of students at Austrian universities come from abroad. The following academic degrees can be obtained:

  • University level first stage (Bachelor’s degree): Bakkalaureus, Bakkalaureus (FH)
  • University level second stage (Master’s degree): Magister, Magister (FH), Diplom-Ingenieur,
  • Diplom-Ingenieur (FH)
  • University level third stage (PhD): Doktoratstudien

You can find more information on the Austrian education system and Austria’s participation in International Exchange programmes on the following web pages:



The Austrian government, many private institutions and some universities offer scholarships for students. Scholarships are managed by a special agency – the Austrian Exchange Service. (OeAD – Österreichischer Austauschdienst) If you are interested in studying in Austria and in financial support please visit ( Studying in Austria has become increasingly popular for a rising number of students from Hong Kong and Macau. The study predominantly tourism, economics, music, languages and the fine arts. Various cooperation – and student exchange programmes (such as the EurasiaPacific UniNet) offer post-graduate and PhD studies in Austria. All major universities in Hong Kong and Macau enjoy cooperation agreements with partner universities in Austria. These programmes are complemented by short time summer courses and cultural exchange & language programmes.

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Basic Information about Denmark

Denmark is a nation situated in Scandinavia in northern Europe. It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries and consists of the greater part of the Jutland Peninsula, as well as a number of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, Baltic Sea and the North Sea, such as Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The country is relatively flat. The population amounts to 5.3 million people. The capital, Copenhagen – often called the Paris of the North – has an old, historical centre and a large network of pedestrian streets, bicycle paths, and parks. The official language is Danish, but most people also understand and speak English.

Denmark has much to offer. Quality of life is a characteristic feature of the Danish society combining social security, a clean environment and an attractive business climate with high standards in education and research – also in an international perspective.


The Higher Education System

Higher education institutions in Denmark can be grouped into three main types:

  • Universities offering research-based undergraduate and postgraduate programmes (Bachelor, Master and PhD)
  • University Colleges and Specialised Colleges offering undergraduate programmes (Professional Bachelor and Diploma programmes)
  • Academies of Professional Higher Education (erhvervsakademier) offering 2 – 2½ years academy profession programmes.

For more information on Danish educational system, please consult the following website: http://

Danish universities and other higher education institutions offer a wide selection of degree programmes and individual courses taught fully in English. It makes it easy for international students to find attractive study opportunities – be it as an exchange student or a full degree student.

Each institution is responsible for admission, and you can get further information about entrance qualifications, supplementary tests and the possibilities of transfer of credits from the admission offices at the institutions.

High Quality in Education

The quality of higher education is assured in many ways. It is regulated and financed by the state, and all public educational institutions are approved and evaluated on an ongoing basis. The institutions have a high degree of autonomy, but must at the same time follow the national regulations on teacher qualifications, award structures and external evaluation of their study programmes. This system is a way of setting national standards for higher education, thus ensuring high quality at all institutions.

All institutions use the European credit transfer system, ECTS, facilitating international credit transfer. Students receive certificates, diplomas or other types of documentation for all completed courses. All students finishing a full degree or a diploma programme receive a Diploma Supplement in English.


Denmark has launched a new scholarship programme for students from non-EU/EEA countries. Scholarships and tuition fee waivers are available for high performing students enrolling in certain study programmes. And some universities and educational institutions have their own scholarships. Contact the institution when you apply for admission. In addition, it is possible to apply for an Erasmus Mundus scholarship to do a master’s degree partly at a Danish and partly at another European educational institution.

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Basic Information about Estonia

Estonia, with a population of 1.3 million people, is the smallest of the three Baltic countries. A little larger than Switzerland and situated in northern Europe on the coast of the Baltic Sea, Estonia is a country of expansive old forests, plentiful lakes and rivers, clean fresh air and ubiquitous internet. As the birthplace of Skype, Estonia has cemented its image as one of the most innovative and IT-friendly countries in the world.

Estonia’s Nordic culture and language share strong ties with Finland, it’s neighbour in the north. Sweden is Estonia’s nearest neighbour in the west across the Baltic Sea, while with Latvia and Russia it shares a land border to the south and east.

The official language is Estonian but most people understand and speak English.

The Higher Education System

The Estonian higher education system consists of academic and professional higher education. Higher education is provided mainly by universities and professional institutions of higher education.

  • I Cycle

The nominal length of academic bachelor’s studies is usually 3 years, and the capacity of studies is ECTS* 180 credits (in exceptional cases four years and 240 ECTS credits). After graduation from bachelor’s-level programmes, the bachelor’s degree bakalaureusekraad, is awarded.

Depending on the subject area, the nominal length of the first cycle of professional higher education studies is 3-4 years (180-240 ECTS credits), after completing the studies a diploma called rakenduskõrgharidusõppe diploma is awarded.

After graduation from the first cycle of HE (academic or professional), students can continue in the second cycle leading to the Master’s degree magistrikraad.

• II Cycle

The nominal length of master’s level studies is 1-2 years and the volume of the studies is 60-120 ECTS credits, but together with bachelor’s level studies, not less than five years (300 ECTS credits).

In addition to the two-cycle general structure, the study programmes of medicine, dentistry, pharmaceutical, veterinarian, architectural and civil engineering training are single long-cycle studies with a nominal length of 5-6 years and a capacity of 300-360 ECTS credits.

• III Cycle

The nominal length of doctoral studies is 3-4 years after which the postgraduate research degree (doktorikraad) is conferred.


DoRa allowance for International Master Students

A monthly allowance of 287 euros (for 10 months during one academic year) is awarded to foreign students studying on the Master’s programmes taught in English at the Estonian universities. The student applies through the host institution. The host institution sets deadlines and selection criteria to get the allowance.

• DoRa Scholarships for International Visiting PhD Students

The scholarships cover research and study visits of 1-10 months by international PhD students to Estonian universities under-recognised PhD study programmes regardless of the subject area. The selection from among the candidates will be made by the host university.

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Basic Information about Finland

Finland is situated in northern Europe. It borders Russia in the east, the Gulf of Finland in the south, the Gulf of Bothnia and Sweden in the west, and Norway in the north. The capital is Helsinki. The population of the country is 5.3 million. The official languages are Finnish and Swedish with 94% of the population speaking Finnish and 6% Swedish.

Finland is a welfare state with the aim of securing for its inhabitant’s equal opportunities for a good life and for the most efficient use of its resources as possible. The geopolitical location between West and East has always been reflected in the country’s events and goings-on. With this combination of western and eastern influences, Finnish culture has developed into something strong and highly individual.


The Higher Education System

The Finnish higher education system consists of two complementary sectors: universities and polytechnics (also known as universities of applied sciences). The function of the universities is to conduct scientific research and provide undergraduate and postgraduate education based on it.

The Finnish Universities Act has been reformed. The universities were separated from the state and they chose to become either corporation subject to public law or foundations subject to private law. Therefore the autonomy of the universities will enlarge further, and they will have more latitude in the management of their finances. New universities were created through mergers so that at the beginning of 2010 there were 16 universities operating under the Finnish Ministry of Education.

The system of polytechnics is still fairly new. Polytechnics (universities of applied science) are multi- field regional institutions focusing on contacts with working life and on regional development. There are 25 polytechnics operating under the Ministry of Education. Polytechnic education is provided in the following fields: Humanities and Education, Culture, Social Sciences, Business and Administration, Natural Resources and the Environment, Technology, Communication and Transport, Natural Sciences, Social Services, Health and Sport, Tourism, Catering and Domestic Services.

Bachelor’s (3 years) and Master’s (2 years) degrees are both undergraduate degrees in Finland. Universities also confer postgraduate degrees: Licentiate (a pre-doctoral degree) (2 years) and Doctor’s (4 years) degrees. Polytechnic degrees are Bachelor-level (3.5-4 years) and Master-level (1- 1.5 years) degrees with a professional emphasis.


The Centre for International Mobility (CIMO), an organisation which operates under the Finnish Ministry of Education, offers services to encourage cross-cultural communication. CIMO administers scholarship and exchange programs and offers information, advisory services, and publications. In addition, CIMO promotes the teaching of the Finnish language and culture and arranges summer courses in the Finnish language and culture for international students. There are various opportunities for students to study in Finland.

CIMO scholarships are mainly targeted at postgraduate students who have completed their Master-level studies. There are two types of scholarships: individual scholarships, which young researchers apply for themselves and host fellowships, which are applied by the Finnish higher education departments willing to host researchers and postgraduates. It should be noted that, in Finland, Master’s programmes are not considered postgraduate studies. CIMO’s undergraduate scholarships promote advanced studies of the Finnish language. Below is a list of scholarships offered by CIMO:

  • Finnish Studies and Research/Scholarships for Advanced Studies of the Finnish Language at Finnish Universities
  • Exchange Programmes (Erasmus Mundus, Asia-Link and Freemovers)
  • CIMO Fellowships
  • Finnish Studies and Research/Scholarships for Postgraduate Studies and Research at Finnish Universities.

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Basic Information about France

Noted as much for its rich culture as for its illustrious scientific achievements, France is unsurprisingly one of the top education destinations for international students. In fact, in 2011, France welcomed 288,000 international students that constituted 12% of its student population, which made it the world’s 4th largest host country for international students after the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.


The Higher Education System

French degrees are granted by a comprehensive network of higher education institutions and world- famous research centres. This network comprises 77 universities, 26 PRES (“pôles de recherche et d’enseignement supérieur” or clusters of universities, specialized schools and research organizations), some 500 “Grandes écoles” – uniquely French institutions that cover about 205 engineering schools and 200 schools of business and management, 120 public schools of Arts, 20 schools of Architecture, as well as more than 3,000 specialized schools for specific sectors such as fashion, social work, paramedical disciplines, tourism and sports.

The French degrees awarded are based on the European system of Bachelor, Master, and PhD, expressed in credits as defined by the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

France’s public universities cover the entire range of academic disciplines, from the sciences to technology to literature, languages, arts, social sciences, law, economics, management etc. Tuition fees (in fact only registration fees in most institutions) are among the lowest in the world and are kept affordable as public institutions enjoy the financial support of the State. However, the quality of the degree programs is not compromised by low tuition fees; throughout, high international standards are maintained at all levels. In addition, French and foreign students have equal access to student benefits (social welfare and right of working) and face similar admission requirements.

Many study programs are available in English (Masters and PhDs). Please visit www.hongkong. to get the complete and detailed list.


Research in France

An integral part of the French curriculum is the emphasis on hands-on research. More than 300 doctoral programs, in collaboration with about 1,200 research centres and laboratories nationwide, prepare students for careers in their chosen fields. France’s doctoral programs have traditionally been attended by an international student community. 41% of PhD students in France today are foreigners.

France is one of the forerunners of scientific and technological innovation. It owes this standing to its research capacity and its many achievements in such fields as aerospace, transportation, electronics, telecommunications, chemistry, biotechnology, health and mathematics, successes attested to by the number of French winners of the Fields Medals and Nobel Prizes.

Tuition Fees and Living Costs

The tuition fees in France are among the lowest in the world while keeping its high quality of education. France devotes 1.4% of its GDP to higher education to guarantee the quality and the accreditation of the diplomas issued. For the tuition fees, France central government defrays a very large share of the true cost of education of public institutions (between €10,000 and €14,000 per student per year), thereby reducing the student’s tuition burden (between €181 and €596 per student per year) in the universities and certain “Grandes écoles”. For other schools, the prices vary. Business schools are the most expensive but still relatively cheap compared to similar schools in other countries. The cost of living will depend on which city you are staying in and the type of accommodation. Taking into account the many discounts for which students are eligible, the average monthly student budget is €1,000/month in Paris and €800/month elsewhere in the country with everything included (rent, meals, transportation, leisure…).

Please also take into account that the French government reimburses about one-third of the accommodation fees per month to students.

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Basic Information about Germany

The Federal Republic of Germany lies in the heart of Europe and is a cosmopolitan, democratic country with a great tradition and a lively present. Germany has one of the world’s strongest economies and offers innovative research and education landscape. At the same time, it has a strong creative economy and a dynamic cultural scene.


The Country: Located in the Centre of Europe

Germany is surrounded by nine neighbouring countries. Its territory encompasses roughly 357,000 square kilometres. It stretches from the North Sea and the Baltic Sea in the north to the Alps in the south. Some of the largest European rivers – the Rhine, the Danube and the Elbe – flow through Germany. German landscapes are extraordinarily varied and attractive: low and high mountain ranges, extensive lake lands, forests and roughly 2,390 kilometres of coastline.


Economy: Strong Competitor in the World Market

Germany has the largest economy in the European Union and the fourth largest in the world. Germany is the world’s third strongest exporting nation. German companies enjoy an excellent international reputation. They stand for the “Made in Germany” seal of quality, for innovation, quality and advanced technology. In addition to well-known global players, Germany’s industry-driven economy is also characterised by many world market leaders from the small and medium-sized business sector. Important industries include vehicle manufacturing, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemicals, environmental technology and nanotechnology.

Higher Education System

All over the world, German higher education institutions enjoy an excellent reputation. German degrees carry great prestige while teaching and research provide key impulses for innovation and progress. Institutions boast state-of-the-art equipment and labs to provide students with the very best conditions for successful studies.

At a very competitive price, more than 390 higher education institutions offer thousands of degree programmes, making Germany’s higher education landscape diverse and affordable. 111 universities, 224 universities of applied sciences as well as 56 colleges of art and music cover over 400 disciplines and, thus, offer the possibility of pursuing almost any specialisation or research project you may have in mind.

Today, more than 250,000 international students are studying in Germany, making it the most popular host country for students after the USA and the UK. Prominent fields of study include:

Engineering Sciences, Natural Sciences, Economics and Business Administration, Arts, Music, Architecture and Design.

Germany offers various forms of research locations: All in all, there are approximately 750 public-funded research institutions in Germany, plus research and development centres run by industrial corporations. The annual research budget is up to 69.9 billion euro ( many German universities offer courses taught in English that lead to internationally recognised degrees, such as Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD (

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Basic Information about Greece

Greece lies at the meeting point of three continents – Europe, Asia, and Africa and consists of a mountainous, peninsular mainland jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea at the southern end of the Balkans. Due to its highly indented coastline and numerous islands, Greece has the 11th longest coastline in the world with 13.676 km. From the waters surrounding the mainland, emerge a vast number of about 6,000 islands and islets, 227 of which are inhabited.

Greece is widely considered the cradle of Western civilization, thanks to its rich history, which dates back to ancient times. Being the birthplace of major political, philosophical, scientific ideas and inventions, which still govern and enrich our lives, Greece offers a unique experience of bridging the past with the present.

Foreign students are quickly made feel at home, while they enjoy Greek hospitality and a very mild climate.


Structure of Higher Education

In Greece, Higher Education is divided into Higher University Education and Higher Technological Education.

Undergraduate Studies

University Education

The university education system comprises universities, polytechnics, the Higher Fine Arts Institute, and the Greek Open University. There are 22 public universities in Greece, located in various towns. University studies last in principal four years. The academic year consists of two semesters with 13 full weeks of tuition and three weeks of examinations. The students who complete their studies receive a degree or diploma depending on the faculty in question.

•   Higher Technological Education

The focus of the Technological Educational Institutes (TEIs) is on the absorption and transfer of scientific data into the production process. The courses are more practically oriented than the respective in universities. Studies last four years, during the final semester students may also practice their desired profession on a trial basis, with assessment. The TEIs cover specializations in the fields of graphic arts and art studies, management, and economics, healthcare, applied technology, food technology and nutrition, agricultural technology, and music technology.

•   Higher Training

The higher education system also includes various institutes providing vocational training in the field of religion, arts, tourism, military, and public order.

Post-Graduate Studies

In Greece, post-graduate studies lead to the award of a post-graduate diploma of specialization. The general goal of post-graduate studies is to allow students to specialize in certain fields. Greek universities offer a total of 213 post-graduate courses; the Greek Open University offers ten post-graduate courses. On completion, the students are awarded a post-graduate diploma of specialization. The post-graduate courses are open to university and TEI graduates. The candidates are chosen on the basis of a selection process or their (oral and/or written) examination results. Besides, candidates are required to know at least one foreign language. Courses last at least one calendar year.


Doctoral Studies

Doctoral studies lead to the award of a doctorate. The general goal of doctoral studies is high-level specialization in strategic areas of knowledge and the promotion of fundamental research in various scientific fields with a view to strengthening the country’s scientific base. In the case of universities that offer postgraduate courses, it is essential to have a post-graduate diploma in order to obtain a doctorate. Permission to prepare a doctoral dissertation at universities that do not offer regular post-graduate courses is granted to applicants who meet certain prerequisites. The departments themselves lay down the admission requirements.

Tuition Fees

Tuition in public universities is generally free of charge but there are some exceptions, mainly in the case of certain post-graduate programmes and studies at the Greek Open University.

Foreign students who come from countries that are not members of the European Union (non-EU students) pay fees so as to cover a small percentage of both the expenses of their studies and the books they are granted.

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Basic Information about Hungary

Hungary is a landlocked country located at the heart of Europe. Situated in Central Europe, Hungary has always been a meeting-point of European cultures. Its capital, Budapest, is a metropolis with 2 million inhabitants and is seen by many as one of the most beautiful European cities. The country’s climate is continental and is protected from excessive climatic changes and natural catastrophes.

With a population of around 10 million, Hungarian culture is unmistakable, as it combines Western European style with Eastern European spice. Hungarian is the country’s official language, although English and German are taught in schools as secondary languages.

The country boasts a rich heritage that attracts people from all over the world. Hungary presents geological sites and palaeontology remains, ancient Roman ruins, relics of Turkish culture, and well-preserved buildings, providing an overview on the different styles of the history of European architecture. Eight of these sites have been declared by UNESCO to be part of the World Heritage.

Based on its rich cultural and folklore tradition, Hungary has also become a centre of not only classical and contemporary European art, music and literature, but also a site for avant-garde and experimental cultural movements.

The Higher Education System

The higher education system in Hungary has three levels. The Bachelor (undergraduate – 3 years), Master (graduate – 2 years) and PhD (doctoral – 3 years) degrees awarded by Hungarian higher education institutions are recognised in all European Union countries.

At present, Hungary’s higher education system comprises 19 state-financed universities, two public universities, 9 state-financed colleges, 26 religious educational institutions, and 11 colleges operated by public foundations.


•    Hungarian Scholarship Board

HSB is responsible for submitting proposals to the Ministry of Human Resources regarding international mobility and the national policy of scholarships and grants; participating in the preparation of action plans based on bilateral agreements; defining competition criteria and nominating candidates for scholarships and grants by evaluating and ranking over 2,000 applications per year. These scholarships and grants (largely financed by the Ministry of Human Resources of Hungary) are based on a pool system as well as on bilateral educational, scientific and cultural exchange programmes with 45 countries. These international agreements enable students, postgraduates, professors, researchers and artists to widen their professional experience in Hungary.

•    Study Programmes in the Balassi Institute

Hungarian language courses: They offer language courses of 60-300 lessons at all levels and with various timings (from 2*3 to 5*4 hours/week). The students of their Summer University participate in 25 language lessons per week. This is rounded up by 5-6 lectures (offered also in English) on a wide range of subjects, and cultural programmes and excursions are also offered to them. Students receive up to 20 ECTS credits for their work.

Their Preparatory Courses for University Studies are designed for young people from abroad who plan to continue their studies in a Hungarian higher education institution. The one-year course with an overall of 900 lessons starts with an intensive language course, which is later supplemented with studies in a chosen field and its terminology (specialisations offered: economics, medicine, engineering, law and humanities). Preliminary knowledge of Hungarian is not necessarily required.

Their university level curriculum in Hungarian Studies, prepared in co-operation with the University of Pécs, offers a 10-month programme for people studying Hungarian at foreign universities. 26/46/55 ECTS credit points are available for attending the course. Their one-year Translators’ Course is open to people with a good command of Hungarian who plan to start a literary translator’s career. Their courses are open both for self-financed students and on a scholarship basis.

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Basic Information about Ireland

Ireland (Éire) is located on the third largest island in Europe, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea. Ireland, which has a large central lowland with a relief of hills and several coastal mountains, is renowned for its beautiful, unspoilt countryside. The capital, Dublin, pulsates with energy thanks to its excellent restaurants, legendary pubs, beautiful art galleries, verdant urban parks, elegant architecture plus its unique scenic location perched at the edge of the Irish Sea. Ireland has a population of approximately 4.5 million. Ireland is a native English speaking country.

Ireland is an increasingly popular destination for students from all over the world. The friendliness and hospitality for which Irish people are renowned for, contribute to the ease with which overseas students adapt to the way of life and in particular, student life.


The Higher Education System

The higher education system (third level) in Ireland is broad in scope and encompasses the university sector, the technological sector, education colleges and private, independent colleges. The institutions which fall within the first three roupings are autonomous and self governing, but substantially statefunded. Admission requirements for overseas students are determined individually by each institution and are generally based on national examination performance and English language aptitude. The following academic awards can be acquired at Irish third level institutions:

  • Higher Certificate: two-year full-time
  • Ordinary Bachelor’s Degree: three-year full-time
  • Honours Bachelor’s Degree: normally a three- or four-year
  • Graduate Diploma: designed for graduates seeking vocational reorientation – usually a one-year
  • Master’s Degree: either by research or through a taught Normally one-two year(s) in duration.
  • Doctorate (PhD): usually takes a minimum of three years of original The academic year typically runs from September to June and is divided into either two or three semesters.


Tuition Fees and Living Costs

Tuition fees in Ireland vary depending on University and Programme but are usually in the range of Euro 9,000 to Euro 27,000. Living costs inclusive of accommodation and utilities are estimated between Euro 7,000 and Euro 12,000 per year, depending on lifestyle and location.


Some scholarships for overseas students are available from the universities and colleges themselves. Students are advised to contact the international office of the institution of their choice directly to obtain further information.

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Basic Information about Latvia

Latvia is comparatively small country in north-eastern Europe, on the east coast of the Baltic Sea and is bound by Belarus, Estonia, Lithuania and Russia. It is situated on a trade crossroads and has long since served as a bridge between Western Europe and Russia. Nearly one third of the 2.3 million people population live in Riga, the capital of the country. The landscape of the country is marked by lowland plains and rolling hills. It has an extensive network of rivers, thousands of lakes and hundreds of kilometres of undeveloped seashore lined by pine forests, dunes, and continuous white sand beaches. The official language is Latvian. The most widely used foreign languages in the country are English, Russian and German.


The Higher Education System

The system of higher education is binary. Most universities and other institutions of higher education offer both academic and professional programs. Academic higher education programs are based on fundamental and/or applied science; they lead to a Bachelors degree and Masters degree. A Bachelor’s degree is awarded after three or four years of study. The Bachelors degree is considered a complete academic qualification. A Master’s degree is obtained on successful completion of the second phase of academic higher education, lasting one or two years. Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees are not awarded in medicine or dentistry, but a degree in medicine or dentistry is equated to a master’s degree. Doctoral programmes have a length of 3 to 4 years at different institutions.

There are six universities and a number of other higher educational institutions in Latvia. All the universities and 32 other institutions (including 18 colleges) are state-run. In addition, there are 22 private institutions (including eight colleges), all of which are state-recognized. All the recognized institutions enjoy autonomy.



The Latvian higher education system is open to international students. The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia offers scholarships to students and teaching staff of several countries for studies and research work in state higher education institutions, as well as for participation in summer schools. The eligible countries whose citizens can apply for the Latvian scholarship are the following: Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Greece, Belgium (Flanders Community and Belgian French Community), China, Estonia, Israel, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Slovenia, and Hungary.


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Basic Information about Luxembourg

Luxembourg is a landlocked country in western Europe bordering Germany, Belgium and France. The country is divided into two distinct geographical regions. The woody uplands of the Ardennes in the north and the fertile lowlands of the south called Bon Pays. The capital is Luxembourg. The population amounts to 0.5 million. The national language is Luxembourgish, while French is used for administrative and media purposes, although German is the main written language for the press.


The Higher Education System

  • The University Sector

The University of Luxembourg was created in July 2003. The institution comprises nearly all the former existing institutions of higher education in Luxembourg.

At present, the University of Luxembourg is organised in three faculties: Sciences, Technology and Communication; Law, Economics and Finance; Languages and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education.

The University of Luxembourg offers first-degree courses leading to bachelor’s degrees in the fields of law, economics, European culture studies (languages, human sciences), educational sciences, psychology, social sciences, life sciences, engineering, informatics, natural sciences, and technology.

Master Degree is also awarded. The various programmes are offered in close co-operation with foreign universities (in Belgium, France or Germany).

There are also various non-state-run initiatives offering postgraduate courses. For example, the Chamber for Private Sector Employees (Chambre des Employés Privés) organises a one-year course in collaboration with the Institute of Business Administration (of France’s Université Nancy II), leading to a French postgraduate degree.

The University of Luxembourg offers students the opportunity to pursue doctoral studies under the supervision of academic staff authorised to manage doctoral theses (registration). These theses can be managed either autonomously by the University of Luxembourg or in conjunction with a co-supervisor who is also authorised to manage research resulting from a foreign research institution.

•    The Non-University Sector

The non-university sector consists of two years’ training at the further education level in a limited number of vocational areas (this selection of areas are offered by further education colleges) leading to a Brevet de Technicien Supérieur (higher technician’s diploma).



The Centre for Educational Guidance and Counselling (Centre de Documentation et d’Information sur l’Enseignment Supérieur) provides prospective students with information about higher education courses and practical information about student life in Luxembourg. Details of courses can always be obtained by approaching institutions directly.

The International Institute allocates a number of scholarships to students. If a scholarship is sought, applicants should attach an academic reference or, if they are already employed in a profession, a reference from their employer.

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Basic Information about Lithuania

Lithuania is the largest of the three Baltic States. It is bound by the Baltic Sea, Latvia, Poland and the Kaliningrad Region of Russia and Belarus. The capital of the country is Vilnius. Lithuania has a population of slightly over 3 million people. The official language is Lithuanian.

From cities and towns full of historic monuments to wonderful retreats in a pristine natural environment, Lithuania has places to go and see for everyone. Officially recognized as the geographical centre of Europe and connected by numerous routes to major European cities, Lithuania can be easily reached by land, water or air.


The Higher Education System

In Lithuania, higher educational institutions provide study programmes of varying duration and levels. The institutions are of two types: universities and colleges (non-university higher educational institutions). University studies provide universal academic education, theoretical training and the highest level of professional excellence. Higher education studies in colleges are oriented towards training for professional activities, practical training covers at least one third of the study programme, in colleges, applied research is carried out.

There are 47 higher education institutions in Lithuania. There are 14 state and 9 private universities, 13 state and 11 private colleges.

Studies are conducted according to degree and non-degree study programmes. Studies can be of different intensity: full-time and part-time. They are organised in three cycles:

  • The 1st cycle: undergraduate studies leading to a Professional Bachelor’s (Profesinis bakalauras) degree (in colleges). The duration of full-time studies in colleges is usually three years and the duration of part-time studies is four years;


undergraduate studies leading to a Bachelor’s (Bakalauras) degree and/or professional qualification (at universities). The most common duration of full-time Bachelor’s studies at universities is four years, the duration of part-time Bachelor’s studies is mostly five years.

  • The 2nd cycle: graduate studies leading to a Master’s (Magistras) The duration of Master studies is 1.5 to two years.

University degree study programmes can be integrated, when studies of the first and second cycles are combined (e.g. in law, medical studies, etc.).

  • The 3rd cycle: postgraduate studies leading to a Doctor’s degree in science or art can be conducted by universities or universities together with research

Non-degree studies (residency, teacher training) can be conducted by universities and/or colleges.

Higher education institutions can provide joint study programmes, upon the completion of which a joint qualification degree is awarded, as well as programmes, upon the completion of which a double qualification degree is awarded. A joint qualification degree is awarded in the case where the study programme is conducted by at least two institutions of higher education, usually in different countries. A double qualification degree is awarded when the study programme meets both the requirements of the major study field and minimum requirements of another study field.


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Basic Information about Malta

The Maltese archipelago basically consists of three islands: Comino, Gozo, and Malta. Located in the Mediterranean Sea, just 93 km south of Sicily, the archipelago covers a total surface area of 316 sq. km with a population of 0.4 million. The largest island of the group is Malta, from which the archipelago takes its name. Valletta, the capital, is the cultural, administrative, and commercial centre of the archipelago. The official languages are Maltese and English, but Maltese is described in the Constitution of Malta as the national language.


The Higher Education System

Higher education is mainly provided by the University of Malta.

  • University Level First Stage

Certificates, Diplomas, and Bachelor’s Degrees are awarded in such fields as nursing, diplomatic studies, management, administration, law, librarian science, religious studies, arts and political and social sciences after a course lasting from one to three years. A Bachelor’s (General) Degree is received in three years. A Bachelor’s (Honours) Degree is received in four or five years, depending on the field of study.

  • University Level Second Stage

The second stage leads to a Master’s Degree after a period of one to two years.

Candidates must hold an appropriate first degree with at least second-class Honours. In special circumstances, candidates without an Honours Degree may be admitted after taking a one-year preparatory course and successfully passing a qualifying examination. Master’s degree courses require candidates to submit a dissertation in addition to successfully completing the required courses.

•   Doctorate’s Degrees

Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Doctor of Law (LLD) degrees are awarded by the faculties of Medicine and Law, respectively, at the end of a 5- or 6-year course. A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is awarded after at least 3 years of study following the award of a Master’s degree. PhD candidates are required to submit a thesis after a period of research on an approved topic.



The higher education system of Malta is open to international students. Currently, there are over 600 full-time foreign students from some 75 countries. In addition, around 300 foreign students participate in semester exchanges. At present no scholarships are available, but it is possible to enrol in higher educational institutions in Malta.

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Basic Information about Poland

Poland is situated in Central Europe. It is bound by the Baltic Sea, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Slovakia and Ukraine. The country is mostly part of the Great European Plain, while to the south, the plain rises to the Carpathian and Sudeten Mountains. There are 38.2 million inhabitants in the country. The official language is Polish. The capital of the country is Warsaw.


The Higher Education System

At present there are a total of 121 state higher educational institutions and not less than 210 non- state higher educational institutions in Poland, which offer a very wide range of different courses and programmes (private schools of higher education must receive permission to operate from the Ministry of National Education; they acquire a legal status when registered by the Minister of National Education). Among the higher schools, there are both university-type and non-university type (professional education) institutions. State and non-state higher professional (vocational) schools train students in professional specialisations and prepare them for specific professions by including 15-week internships and school practice in the mandatory curriculum.

Graduates of higher professional courses are awarded the title of Bachelor of Arts/Science or Engineer (Bachelor of Engineering) after 3 to 4 years of study. Graduates of university-type higher educational institutions are awarded the title of magister (Master of Arts/Science) or its equivalent after taking standard 5-year MA/MSc level courses or 1.5 to 2-year complementary MA/MSc level.

courses (intended for holders of the professional title of Bachelor of Arts/Science or Engineer received either at university-type institutions or institutions of higher professional education).

The academic degree of doktor (Ph.D.) is awarded to a person who has passed his/her doctoral examinations and submitted and defended a doctoral dissertation (holding the title of magister or its equivalent is a necessary condition for successively obtaining the doktor’s degree).



Persons interested in studying in Poland are welcome to contact respective Polish higher educational institutions in order to obtain detailed information on the conditions of admission and the courses and programmes which they offer to foreign students.

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Basic Information about Sweden

Although a small nation, Sweden has fostered many internationally-known enterprises such as Ericsson, Volvo, IKEA and H&M. Sweden is a world leader in IT-sector as well as in environmental technology, engineering, medicine and biotechnology. Sweden is the land of the Nobel prizes and has its fair share of laureates. Sweden is also known for its open and liberal society with strong democratic roots. The Swedes are internationally oriented and speak English very well.

Swedish institutions of higher education offer more than 500 Master’s programmes taught in English. These are available to qualified international students with a Bachelor’s Degree or the equivalent in Business, Engineering, Law, Natural Science, Social Science and other subjects.

Swedish universities are renowned for their investigative research and independent thinking, and this reputation is cemented with a rigorous quality control and nationally certified degrees. Sweden has one of the most ambitious educational evaluation in Europe, aimed at maintaining this competitive edge.

Sweden has three universities in top 100 and eleven in top 500 of the 2010 edition of the Academic Ranking of World Universities complied by Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Swedish universities and university colleges are active partners in a wealth of international exchange networks. As such, they have the services and infrastructure it takes to make foreign students feel at home.

Studying in Sweden is different. Swedish universities have an open climate, with strong focus on work group. This will give valuable skills for the future. The global market values ambitious, innovative and perceptive team players. Swedish universities foster these qualities through a forward-thinking culture where you’re close to the latest ideas and trends.

Swedish master’s degree programs offer unusual opportunities to turn theory into practice. Many programs also cooperate closely with the industry, offering students the possibility to mix studies and practical work. This gives distinct advantages over peers when entering the job market.

Main Field of Study:

  • Banking / Finance / Trading / Accounting
  • Business / Management / Economics
  • Design
  • Engineering
  • Human and Social Sciences / Political Sciences
  • Information Technology / Telecommunications
  • Medicine / Health
  • Sciences (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, etc)


The Higher Education System


  • Offered Degrees: Masterexamen – Degree of master (1-2 years)
  • Admission: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, Proficiency in English (e.g. TOFEL / IELTS – test)
  • Course Duration: 1-2 years
  • Tuition Fees: Tuition fees typically range from SEK 70,000-200,000 (HKD 75,000-220,000) per Check your chosen university’s webpage for more information.

Language of Instruction: English

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Basic information about the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a country and sovereign state situated off the northwest coast of Europe.

The United Kingdom is a political union made up of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales (Great Britain) and Northern Ireland. Each has its own distinctive history, landscape and modern culture. The capital city is London. The two official languages in Britain are English and Welsh, English being the most widely spoken. Scottish Gaelic is also spoken in some parts of Scotland. The United Kingdom has a highly industrialised economy and the sixth-largest gross domestic product in the world. It is the third most populous state in the European Union. There are more than 3,000 educational institutions that welcome international students.


The Higher Education System

Undergraduate Study

Degrees are the most popular undergraduate qualification in the UK. They are academic courses, usually studied over three years in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales, or four years in Scotland (where the title master’s degree may be awarded).

  • University International Foundation Year courses help to bridge any gaps between qualifications already held and the ones needed to begin a degree course in the UK.

Postgraduate Study

  • Pre-master’s Courses can last from one term to a complete academic year and cover academic study, cultural instruction and language Many courses will guarantee progression onto a master’s course at a particular university.
  • Postgraduate Certificates or Diplomas (PG Cert/Dip) are one-year taught postgraduate courses that don’t usually involve research. They’re often accepted as professional qualifications in the relevant field, such as education or management, giving you a fantastic head start in your chosen
  • Taught Master’s (MA, MSc, LLM, MEd, etc) courses generally last for one year and consist of two elements: you will complete a number of modules and produce a dissertation from original
  • Research Master’s (MRes, MPhil) is a master’s degree by You will devote the entire year to research. Your final mark will be determined by the quality of your dissertation.
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a specialist business taught master’s It’s the best-known and most popular postgraduate qualification.
  • Doctorate (PhD) will take you three to four years to complete, during which you’ll be working on a single research
  • New Route PhDs include taught elements as well as a research project and give you the opportunity to undertake interdisciplinarily



There is a wide range of scholarships available for international students to study in the UK, ranging from school education to PhD study. Key scholarships and sources of information follow.

  • British Chevening Scholarships are administered by the British Council for students studying for a Master’s Further information can be obtained from
  • Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme (ORSAS) is intended for students of full-time postgraduate research study only and available for all Further information and list of universities participating in this scheme can be obtained from

A number of UK universities participate in the EU’s Erasmus Mundus scholarships program. This enables successful international applicants to study for masters programs in more than one country of the EU.

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