The Statistics Unit is responsible for collecting, analysing and disseminating student & graduate data returned to the HEA from all HEA-funded institutions. These data form the Student Record System database in the HEA (the SRS).



We provide analyses of higher education student enrolments, new entrants and graduates each year. Tables for download and data visualisations containing these data are available on these pages. We conduct analysis of student progression from first to second year annually. In addition to analysis of the SRS data, we gather graduate outcomes data via the annual Graduate Outcomes Survey, where we analyse the first destination of graduates and their earnings nine months after graduation. We also analyse the socio-economic profile of the higher education population each year using deprivation index scores derived from home address data.

The work of the Statistics Unit falls under three main themes:

  1. Who goes on to third level in Ireland – access, socio-economic analyses and spatial analyses.
  2. How do students perform at third level – progression, completion and final grades analyses.
  3. What are the outcomes for graduates after third level – annual Graduate Outcomes Survey analyses, analyses using linked admin. data in the CSO, including detailed earnings analyses.

By providing these insights into higher education students/graduates, we provide the Higher Education Authority, the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and the Minister with the necessary evidence to formulate effective higher education policy.

Email: statistics@hea.ie

Dr Vivienne PattersonHead of Skills, Engagement and Statistics
Mr Victor PigottSenior Statistics Manager
Ms Valerie HarveyHead of Performance Evaluation
Dr Dawn CarrollData Analyst
Mr David SheilsData Analyst
Ms Janice LauData Analyst
Mr David HoranData Analyst
Mr John HoranDatabase Developer

Methodology

HEA Statistics

Section 11 of the Higher Education Authority Act 1971 states that:
‘An institution of higher education shall supply to An tÚdarás all such information relative to the institution as An tÚdarás may require for the purpose of performing its functions.’
To meet this obligation, publicly funded Higher Education Institutions must provide statistics on student enrolments and graduates to the HEA in the form of an Annual statistical return. The Statistics Unit of the Higher Education Authority is responsible for collecting, auditing and analysing this student data returns. This data is collated to form the Student Record System (SRS) database.
Please click on the link for further information on the Annual Statistical Return.

Student Record System (SRS) data.

The SRS data can be grouped into three broad areas.
New Entrants:
New Entrants are defined as students entering higher education study for the first-time. In most cases, this will refer to full-time first year undergraduate students only.
New Entrant data is available on our website grouped under the following headings:

Educational:

  • Higher Education Institution/Sector
  • Field of Study ISCED (broad and detailed)

Student Demographics:

  • Gender
  • Age/Age Grouping
  • Domiciliary of Origin
  • County of normal residence (Irish domiciled students only)

Enrolments:
Enrolments in this context are all under- or post-graduate students, including New Entrants. Enrolments include students studying part-time and remote (e.g. e-learning) students as well as full-time students.
Data is available on our website grouped by:

Educational:

  • Higher Education Institution/Sector
  • Field of Study ISCED (broad and detailed)
  • Mode of study (full-, part-time or remote), Level of programme (Under or Post- graduate) and programme type.

Student Demographics:

  • Gender
  • Age/Age Grouping
  • Domiciliary of Origin
  • County of normal residence (Irish Domiciled Students only)

Graduates:
These are persons graduating with an award:

Educational:

  • Higher Education Institution/Sector
  • Field of Study (ISCED)
  • Programme type and level (Under-graduate and post-graduate)
  • Mode of study (full- or part-time), Level of programme (Under or Post- graduate) and programme type.
  • Grade (Honours Degree only)

All of the above data is published by gender.

Quality Statement

Our aim is to produce statistics that are accurate and reliable, coherent and comparable. We will be objective in our analysis and disseminate our statistics in a clear, accessible and timely manner.
Through our work, we abide by the following core values, based on international principles and best practice:

  • Statistical Professionalism
  • Independence and Integrity
  • Respect for statistical confidentiality
  • Excellent service to our customers
  • Respect to our data providers
  • Value for Money

Dissemination and Timelines

In line with the HEA’s IT Security Policy, the SRS is only accessible by members of the HEA’s Statistics Unit. However, aggregated data is made available to the public via web-tables, statistical publications and in response to custom data requests.

Additional data on new entrants, enrolments or graduates and/or further breakdown/cross tabulation of published data may be provided in response to custom data requests. Time series data may also be made available in response to custom data requests.
From 2018/19 forward, data will be published online using visualisation software. Data will be available for download, subject to confidentiality considerations.
This above data also informs other statistical analyses and publications which are available to download from the publications section of this website.

If you have a custom data request or if you require further information, please contact statistics@hea.ie

Timelines for Release of Data
Student data is returned to the HEA in Q2 of the year and the HEA aims to release new data no later than year end (31 December of the relevant return year). Where there is a delay in releasing new data, this will be flagged on our website.

Student data for the 2020/2021 academic year (along with 2020 Graduate Data) is now available:
Data for download 2018/19 to 2010/21
Key Facts and Figures 2020/21

Statistics from academic year 2008/2009 to 2017/2018 are currently available to download in Microsoft Excel format from our statistics archive.

Privacy and Data Protection

Please note, however, that the level of disaggregation of data disseminated publicly is subject to data protection considerations. Data disaggregated to a level which may allow individuals to be identified (even indirectly) is not disseminated publicly. Microdata and personal data are only shared with bodies with which we have a legal basis for doing so via specific data sharing agreements.
Please see our data protection page for further information.

Other HEA statistics

In addition to analysis of the SRS data, we gather graduate outcomes data via the graduate outcomes survey, where we analyse the present situation of graduates each year nine months after graduation. The Unit also contributes to the annual studentsurvey National Report. By providing these analyses of higher education student data, we provide the Higher Education Authority, the Department of Education and Skills and the Minister for Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science with the necessary evidence to formulate effective higher education policy.

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