Ireland is famous for its beautiful natural sceneries, vibrant nightlife, and hospitable and cheerful people. It is internationally recognized as a safe and peaceful country with an excellent quality of life. In addition, it is an English-speaking country, making it easier for prospective international students to enter the country for higher education. Here, we will be looking at the best affordable universities in Ireland for international students.
The quality of education in Ireland is pretty high at a much more affordable rate than other English-speaking nations, such as the US, the UK, Canada, or Australia. Because of this, Ireland has seen a steady increase in the number of incoming students until 2019. Currently, the country hosts roughly 35,000 international students in many of its higher education institutions. Many educational institutions in the country also participate in the Erasmus+ exchange program for students and staff.
Ireland has a more reasonable cost of living compared to the UK and neighboring European countries. International students studying in the country may also apply for a visa that will allow them to work part-time jobs to supplement their budget. They can also avail themselves of government scholarships or apply for numerous grants and funding from their respective universities, private organizations, and other external sources.
Cheap Universities in Ireland
1. Dublin Business School
Dublin Business School (DBS) is an affordable university in Ireland that started offering only evening courses in Accountancy and Business in 1975 before signing a franchise agreement with Liverpool John Moores University in 1989. Eventually, in 2003, Kaplan Inc., acquired DBS and it continued to expand, becoming the country’s biggest independent third-level institution.
At present, DBS offers numerous globally recognized undergraduate, diploma, and postgraduate courses to its over 9,000 student population, some of which hail from around 70 other countries. The school has also produced almost a thousand students who won national and international awards in their respective fields of study.
In addition to receiving world-class teaching quality and degrees, DBS students can also benefit from the school’s location at the center of the vibrant city of Dublin. They can have plenty of leisure activities at pubs and restaurants while getting real-world professional experience through part-time jobs and internships.
2. Letterkenny Institute of Technology
The Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) opened in Donegal, Ireland, in 1971 and celebrated its 50th anniversary just recently. This affordable university in Ireland is currently working towards attaining a Technological University status and expanding its partnerships with other institutions.
Despite being young, LYIT has expanded significantly to provide a high quality of education and a high level of satisfaction from students and alumni. The institute currently hosts around 4,500 local and international students from 31 countries. Seventy percent of these students are scholarship or grant recipients.
LYIT offers 130 undergraduate and postgraduate programs under four schools: Business, Engineering, Science, and Tourism. Graduates from these four schools receive valuable career service from the institute to guarantee professional success. Records show that 56% of LYIT graduates were able to find suitable jobs in Donegal.
3. Athlone Institute of Technology (Technological University of Shannon)
The Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) was launched as the Athlone Regional Technical College in 1970. It merged with the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) to officially form the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest (TUS) in 2024.
This cheap university in Ireland is an internationally recognized center of excellence with around 230 partner institutions worldwide. It is also home to over 6,000 students—including those from over 60 other countries—taking up courses under three faculties: Business & Hospitality, Engineering & Informatics, and Health & Science.
The town of Athlone, where TUS is located, boasts of several fun activities, such as boating or swimming, which add to the charm of studying at the university. It also offers a lively nightlife with plenty of pubs and nightclubs. Students can also participate in various sports clubs with an international sports arena and diverse societies to maintain a balance between demanding course requirements and pleasure.
4. Institute of Technology Sligo
The Institute of Technology Sligo (IT Sligo) opened in 1970. It is one of the best institutes of technology in Ireland and is slated to acquire Technological University status in 2022. This transition is an apt step for the school, considering its state-of-the-art facilities, lecture halls, and workshops and the exceptionally high employment rate among its graduates.
IT Sligo hosts approximately 8,600 students spread throughout its three schools: Business & Social Sciences, Engineering & Design, and Science. Seven percent of the student body consists of international students from 33 countries. More than half of the student population are taking part-time online courses, making the institute an excellent and flexible learning institution.
Its location in the town of Sligo makes it easy to access nearby natural spots, such as mountains and beaches, for adventure-seeking students. Full-time on-campus international students and incoming Erasmus+ exchange students and staff can enjoy an outstanding academic experience in a very diverse and stimulating environment.
5. Technological University Dublin
- Tuition Fees for Undergraduate Programs: €11, 650 – €14,500
- Tuition Fees for Graduate Programs: €13,500 – €14,500
TU Dublin is Ireland’s first official technological university launched in 2019 from the merger among the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), and the Institute of Technology Tallaght. These three institutes provide over a hundred years of experience to the university.
This affordable university in Ireland has over 29,000 students—thirty percent of which study part-time, and ten percent are international students from over 100 countries. The university offers over 200 Foundation, undergraduate, and postgraduate programs for international students, ranging from Arts and Economics to STEM courses.
The high diversity rate in the university and the availability of numerous clubs and societies allow students to interact with people across various cultures. In addition, students can find promising career opportunities in three of the most populated and advanced urban centers in Ireland: Blanchardstown, Dublin City, and Tallaght.