The Eurostudent Project
The main aim of the EUROSTUDENT project is to collate comparable data on the social dimension of European higher education. It focuses on the social and economic conditions of student life and also investigates temporary international mobility. The project provides reliable and insightful cross-country comparisons.
The Eurostudent project is currently on its eighth iteraction of the survey with 30 countries participating (Ireland has participated in all previous rounds since 2000). The survey is co-ordinated in Europe by the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW).
The survey is a valuable source of data to inform policy making at national and international level. These include data on a number of issues that affect Irish students such as commuting patterns, accommodation, income, expenditure and student well-being.
On this page you can find Eurostudent reports, details of the current survey, and links to online Eurostudent resources.
Eurostudent Online Resources
There are many online resources for those interested in Eurostudent.
First is the Eurostudent website, www.eurostudent.eu.
Then you can follow the main Eurostudent Twitter or our own Irish Eurostudent Twitter! Eurostudent run many EurostudentTalks which are free of charge to register for. Check out Twitter for more details.
An interactive dashboard is also available online where you can compare countries and answers to the different survey questions.
The Eurostudent 8 survey report is available on the right hand side of this page.
Findings of Eurostudent 8 Report (2023)
This report presents an overview of the social and living conditions of higher education students in Ireland. One of the primary purposes of the Eurostudent project is to collate comparable data to enable cross-national comparisons. As such, it is necessary for the student populations in each country (and there are over 30 in the current round of the survey) to be comparable. For the purposes of the Eurostudent project, the student population in a country is all students that are enrolled in higher education at the time of the survey. Higher education is defined as students undertaking programmes that correspond to ISCED level 5, 6 and 7, which in Ireland are programmes at NFQ Level 6, 7, 8, and 9.
This is the 8th round of Eurostudent. The project has been running since 1997. HEA contracted the survey administration and production of the national report to Insight Consulting for 2021-2024. Insight has also provided data to the central Eurostudent database.
Approximately 21,000 valid student responses (from a population of approximately 240,000 students) were received during the data collection period. This represented a response rate of 8.7 percent of all students.
- Since the last Eurostudent survey, which was conducted in 2019, the numbers of students enrolled has increased by 6.3 percent.
- The survey indicates that 11 percent of the total student population have children. Of the full-time undergraduate population only 4 percent of students have children. Of the part-time undergraduate population, 46 percent have children.
- International students are typically older than Irish students.
- Overall, approximately 32 percent of all students indicated that they have a disability, compared with 25 percent in the previous Eurostudent report. A higher level of disability is noted for full-time students than part-time students. The most commonly reported disability is mental health problems.
College Entry Route, Transition and Access:
- The majority of students entering higher education enter through the traditional route of the Leaving Certificate examinations.
- Higher levels of parental education and wealth correspond with direct entry into higher education, whereas lower levels of parental education and wealth corresponding with delayed entry into higher education.
Income and Expenditure
- The overall average monthly income for all students was €1,122. The overall average monthly expenditure for all students was €1,340.
- For almost all student groups expenditure exceeds income, and as such these groups are highly reliant upon external support from their family or partners to fill this gap.
- Approximately 33 percent of the total student population say that they are experiencing serious (or very serious) financial problems. In the last Eurostudent report, 26 percent of the total student population reported serious financial difficulties.
- Accommodation is the largest single expenditure which accounts for around 35 percent of all expenditure, and the average spend on accommodation was €469 (up from €415 in the last Eurostudent report).
- Where students live appears to depend on their mode of study and programme. Full-time undergraduates are likely to live with their parents or in student accommodation, whereas part-time students are more likely to live with their partners in private accommodation.
Course Workload, Student Employment and Time Budget
- Postgraduate students on average spend almost 25 hours per week on personal study. In contrast, this is only 18 hours for undergraduates.
- A higher proportion of students (49 percent of full-time undergraduates) who don’t work during term receive funding from their parents than those who do work throughout term (32 percent of full-time undergraduates). 43 percent of full-time undergraduates have their bills paid regularly by their parents regardless of whether they work during term, or not.
- Full-time students are likely to be employed in a field not closely related to their study area. Whereas for part-time students their employment is often closely related to their study area which appears to indicate that they are working before entering higher education and choosing vocational courses that align with their employment aims.
- Ireland has a low rate of student mobility with approximately 4 percent of all students having ever taken part in a temporary study period abroad since they first entered higher education. Furthermore, 5 percent are currently preparing for a study period abroad and 18 percent are intending to go abroad for a temporary study period in the future. Finances, time away from family and language competence are most cited barriers.
Mental Health and Well-being
- Students appear to be relatively happy as 15 percent say they are extremely happy, and 41 percent say they are happy. Only 3 percent say that they are extremely unhappy.
Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic
- Approximately 28 percent of students reported that the pandemic had no effect on their motivation; whereas 59 percent of students reported that the pandemic had a negative impact and only 13 percent report that it had a positive impact. Part-time students, postgraduate students and older students were more likely to report that the pandemic had no impact on their motivation.
Experiences of Discrimination
- Approximately 35 percent of female students have at some point been treated as less smart or less capable than others because of who they are, in contrast only 25 percent of male students have experienced the same. Younger students also appear to experience this more than older students.
- Approximately 32 percent of female students report that they have experienced sexual harassment at some point, compared with 14 percent of male students.
- Female students are more likely to feel unsafe or very unsafe walking alone in their neighbourhood and on campus compared to their male counterparts.
Eurostudent Reports Ireland
Eurostudent reports can be found on the right hand side of the page.