Ireland is a great hub for learning and can offer learners incredible opportunities. However, with great educational opportunities can also come financial challenges.
As the cost of living increases across Ireland, could learners find better value learning opportunities by choosing to study online? In this article, we’ll look at some of the savings students can make by choosing to study online.
What costs do students face in Ireland?
High accommodation costs face students who are keen to study at universities in Ireland. Recent research from NUI Galway found that learners studying in Ireland paid more for campus accommodation than other European students. They found the average cost for the cheapest room in Irish accommodations stood at €5,451 a year.
High accommodation fees in Irish cities are having an immediate impact on learners. According to surveys from the Bank of Ireland, 2 out of 3 students work part-time in order to support themselves. Similarly, the same number choose to study at home rather than move out of their parent’s home.
Rent prices for private properties in Irish cities have gone up as well, meaning many students can’t afford to live near their university. Research shows that average rents in Galway, Waterford, and Limerick increased by 20% in 2022. Meanwhile, rent prices in Cork increased by 15% and are now at an average of €1,768 per month. In Dublin, rent prices increased by 13% and are now at an average of €2,300 per month.
According to research from ECA International, international students moving to Dublin face high living costs. Their research found Dublin to be the 9th most expensive city in Europe for expatriates. This is ahead of infamously pricey cities like Amsterdam, Vienna and Paris. Ireland has some of the best educational opportunities in Europe and some of the highest living costs.
Students who access in-person course delivery often face large upfront costs. Living and travelling to and from campuses each day in any city can be expensive. But could Ireland’s high costs damage its reputation for being an open, global hub for education? The high cost of living in Irish cities may discourage learners from accessing in-person education.
Can online learning help students reduce costs?
Can learners save money by using online learning to help with the cost of living in Ireland? What are the advantages and disadvantages of online learning? Are there too many challenges of online learning, or is it a simple solution for students who feel priced out of higher education in Ireland?
Save on Travel and Relocation Costs
Online learning can be cheaper for students compared to traditional education, offering various cost-effective options for learning.
One of the core benefits of online learning is the flexibility it affords students. This doesn’t only apply to schedules but also applies to where students choose to access their course content.
Studying online is a lifeline for people without family in education hubs like Dublin or Cork. It can allow learners to study whilst staying with parents or family or rented accommodation in their more affordable hometown.
For those who are based closer to major cities studying online can still be a big money saver. Online learning cuts commuting costs and frees up learners to find cheap rents outside of expensive commuter belts or town centres.
Balance Study with Paid Work
When studying online, learners can often set their own schedules and access courses in a way that works for them. Online courses don’t need to be delivered in a physical location at a time that is convenient for 30 or more students. This means learning can be delivered outside of the typical 9-5 hours.
This means online learning is far easier to balance with a part-time or even full-time job. For example, a learner could work in the daytime and access online learning in the evening. Although some universities and schools can offer learning during unsociable hours, online learning is by far the most flexible learning option available to students.
With the ability to earn money whilst also studying, students can reduce the financial burden of education. Students don’t need to make the difficult choice between financial freedom and valuable education. With flexible online learning, students can easily match their learning schedules with their working schedules.
Compare Course Costs Easily
As there are no geographic limitations to online learning, students can compare the costs of courses from every Irish education provider. Use course comparison sites, such as Allcourses.ie to easily browse and compare courses, finding the best ones for the best price in a simple and straightforward way.
Students can save time and money by looking at courses online instead of attending multiple open days and travelling around Ireland. They can easily access course information from the comfort of their own homes.
Whether you’re keen to become qualified in creative roles, move into the Irish tech sector or find promising work in industries that are looking for new talent, online learning can provide a cost-effective solution.
Are there disadvantages to online learning?
Online learning can be a cost-effective way to access high-quality education, but some learners prefer the social and interactive elements of in-person learning. For other learners, the prospect of moving to a large city can be an exciting, even if expensive, prospect.
Online learning is improving with better technology, tools, and virtual environments, making it far more comparable to in-person courses than in the past. It can provide students with a social, interactive and vibrant learning experience in an affordable and accessible package.
Furthermore, the savings that learners make through online learning can be reinvested into career, social or travel goals, allowing them to enjoy life experiences and explore new pastures.
Are you keen to save money whilst accessing high-quality courses? Want to upskill, become qualified and move towards your dream career? Explore our site today, and begin your online education journey.
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