HEA 2017 Facts and Figures

Student Numbers in Ireland Top 225,000



By Malcolm Byrne

Posted: 31 January, 2018

The latest publication of “Key Facts and Figures” shows that student numbers at publicly funded universities, institutes and colleges in Ireland totalled 225,628 in 2016/17.

With the number of full time undergraduate students having increased by 10% over the last five years, over 6% of the country’s adult population is now enrolled in a higher education programme.

The continued growth in higher education participation saw graduate numbers at all levels reach a record 69,633 last year.

HEA Chief Executive, Dr. Graham Love, pointed out,

“The higher education system continued to expand last year, resulting in more graduates who can continue to help drive Ireland’s economic and social development. This is against an ongoing difficult financial backdrop.”

Other interesting figures in the Report –

• Arts and Humanities courses (19%) still attract more new entrants than any other field.

• 80% of all students are full time with 17% part time and 3% remote (online or distance education).

• On full time courses, women marginally outnumber men at undergraduate level (51% to 49%) but that grows to a 55% to 45% gap at postgraduate level. On part-time courses, while at undergraduate level, men have a slight majority (51% to 49%), this changes to 57% to 43% in favour of women at postgraduate level.

• There are now over 24,000 staff employed across higher education institutions.

Full details are contained in the attached report.

Facts and Figures 2016/17 Report

Key Findings Poster

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