DISTANCE was no object for a group of Australian students when they collected their degrees from an Irish college.
It may be 17,296km from Melbourne to Sligo, but that didn't stop staff at a leading company collecting their awards – online.
Ten workers at Australia's leading biopharmaceutical company, CSL, completed their studies over the internet.
So when it came to handing over their certificates, there were "no worries", as the Aussies say – they were emailed from Sligo and printed off and presented at the other end.
The Certificate Programme in Biopharmaceutical Science was designed to meet the needs of CSL, and now 11 of the new graduates' colleagues will follow in their footsteps and study online.
Kieran Tobin, the head of online learning at Sligo IT, said: "While many individuals who are based overseas have undertaken their programmes online over the past 10 years, this is the first conferral of a group of internationally based students.
"We work with others in the provision of bespoke educational training solutions across the biopharmaceutical sector in Ireland, but this is our first significant move into the international training market."
New Zealander Ursula Macaskill, who has worked at CSL's Melbourne facility for three years, said: "I found online learning very convenient."
"I could listen to the lectures when I wanted to and if I missed something I could always rewind and listen again.
"The course has accelerated my professional knowledge by at least 18 months," she added.
CSL boss Tim Hughes said: "Despite substantial distance and time-zone differences between Ireland and Australia, we were very pleased with the results."