Explore the OECD's reports or draw from a wide variety of education indicators and data to construct your own, customised country reports, highlighting the facts, developments and outcomes of your choice.

Country

Ireland
Change country

Data profiles:



Diagram of the education system

Click on the diagram to get a PDF version
Key

  • Diagram of education system in country language


  • General methodological notes for ISCED diagrams


  • Education system in Ireland

    Ireland
    Overview of the education system (EAG 2018)
  • The performance of 15-year-olds in mathematics in Ireland seems to be less dependent than in other OECD countries on factors such as gender; urban/rural location; and economic, social and cultural status.
  • Foreign-born individuals on average earn less than native-born ones although the earnings gap decreases with levels of educational attainment.
  • The number of international students in Ireland was nearly 40% higher in 2016 than in 2013 but the number of national students enrolled abroad in other OECD and partner countries fell over the same period by 10%.
  • The share of repeaters in secondary education in Ireland is among the lowest across OECD countries, which leads to very low shares of over-age students in lower secondary institutions and students over 20 in upper secondary education.
  • Expenditure on education is not keeping up with the increased number of students.
  • Profile View

    Select first some countries to compare, choose the charts you wish to display and customise them.

    The following list displays indicators for which your selected country shows the highest and lowest values among countries. The list can be sorted by level of education or by age group. All rankings are calculated including available data from OECD and partner countries. Find out more about the methodology here.

    Show indicators for which your country ranks among the top or bottom: Sort by:

    Educational outcomes

    The level of upper secondary attainment among 25-34 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (91.9 %, rank 10/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The level of tertiary attainment among 25-64 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (45.7 %, rank 7/46 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The level of tertiary attainment among 25-34 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (53.5 %, rank 6/46 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 year-olds who have attained a vocational degree at the upper secondary or post-secondary level is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (14.1 %, rank 24/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the percentage of today's young people expected to graduate from an upper secondary general programme is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 1/33 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-34 year-old men who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (48.5 %, rank 7/46 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-34 year-old women who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (58.2 %, rank 7/46 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 25-64 year-olds who attained a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the highest among countries with available data. (24.7 %, rank 7/46 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of female graduates from upper secondary general programmes is one of the lowest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (50.4 %, rank 36/39 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The percentage of female graduates from upper secondary vocational programmes is one of the highest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (62.5 %, rank 1/39 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The enrolment rate of 5-14 year-olds in Ireland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 1/43 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate among 15-19 year-olds in Ireland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (93.5 %, rank 2/39 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of female students entering doctorate or equivalent programmes in Ireland is one of the largest compared to other OECD countries and partner economies. (52.5 %, rank 4/40 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Intergenerational mobility

    The share of 25-64 year-old adults without upper secondary education among those whose parents have also not attained upper secondary education is comparatively high in Ireland. (40 %, rank 7/27 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    In Ireland, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is relatively high. (9.4 %, rank 5/34 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is relatively high. (8.5 %, rank 3/34 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is relatively low. (9.5 %, rank 29/34 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in of the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (19 %, rank 28/33 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in of the field of health and welfare is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (78.9 %, rank 10/33 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The share of new female entrants to doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of health and welfare in Ireland is relatively high. (24.4 %, rank 7/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of new male entrants to doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of health and welfare in Ireland is relatively high. (15.1 %, rank 9/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure per student

    Annual expenditure per pupil at the pre-primary level is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6106 USD Equivalent, rank 23/31 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, expenditure on pre-primary educational institutions as a percentage of GDP is comparatively low. (0.1 %, rank 33/33 , 2014) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, total public expenditure on pre-primary educational institutions as a percentage of total public expenditure is comparatively high. (99.9 %, rank 1/31 , 2014) Download Indicator

    Expenditure in education and national wealth

    In Ireland, expenditure on primary through tertiary educational institutions as a percentage of GDP is one of the lowest among OECD countries and partner economies. (3.5 %, rank 35/37 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Between 2010 and 2012, the change in expenditure on educational institutions (from primary to tertiary level) as a percentage of GDP, excluding subsidies, is among the smallest of all OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (59 Index, rank 31/31 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, expenditure on secondary educational institutions as a percentage of GDP is comparatively low. (1.1 %, rank 37/37 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, expenditure on tertiary educational institutions as a percentage of GDP is comparatively low. (0.8 %, rank 36/37 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, government expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education from final source of funds is relatively low. (2.5 %, rank 34/39 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, government expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on tertiary education from final source of funds is relatively low. (0.6 %, rank 34/39 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, government expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on primary to tertiary education from final source of funds is relatively low. (3.1 %, rank 37/39 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, private expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on primary to tertiary education from final source of funds is relatively low. (0.4 %, rank 27/36 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP for tertiary education is comparatively low. (55.8 %, rank 28/28 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP for primary to tertiary education is comparatively low. (58.6 %, rank 28/28 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Public and private expenditure in education

    In Ireland, public expenditure on education as a percentage of total public expenditure is comparatively high. (89.7 %, rank 8/36 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP is comparatively low. (3.7 %, rank 30/39 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The change between 2005 and 2012 in private expenditure on tertiary educational institutions is one of the largest compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (141 Index, rank 2/27 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Between 2010 and 2012, the change in public expenditure on primary through tertiary educational institutions is comparatively small. (82 Index, rank 31/31 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Ireland has one of the smallest shares of private expenditure on primary through tertiary educational institutions among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (10.3 %, rank 27/36 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of hours per year primary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively large in Ireland. (910 Hours, rank 7/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The number of hours per year upper secondary teachers spend teaching general programmes in public institutions is comparatively large in Ireland. (722 Hours, rank 10/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The share of women among teaching staff in upper secondary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (70.2 %, rank 6/40 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The percentage of primary to upper secondary teachers aged between 30 and 49 is especially high. (65.3 %, rank 3/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The percentage of primary to upper secondary teachers older than 50 is especially low. (21.7 %, rank 32/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries

    After 15 years of experience, a lower secondary teacher with minimum qualification can expect to have one of the highest salaries among OECD and partner countries with available data. (56962 USD Equivalent, rank 6/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    After 15 years of experience, an upper secondary teacher with minimum qualification can expect to have one of the highest salaries among OECD and partner countries with available data. (56962 USD Equivalent, rank 8/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    After 15 years of experience, a primary teacher with minimum qualification can expect to have one of the highest salaries among OECD and partner countries with available data. (56369 USD Equivalent, rank 6/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In primary education, the salary ratio of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of the salary scale to those with minimum training and starting salaries is comparatively high. (2.06 Ratio, rank 7/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In lower secondary education, the salary ratio of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of the salary scale to those with minimum training and starting salaries is comparatively high. (2.1 Ratio, rank 6/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In upper secondary education, the salary ratio of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of the salary scale to those with minimum training and starting salaries is relatively high. (2.1 Ratio, rank 7/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    After 15 years of experience, a lower secondary teacher with typical qualification can expect to have one of the highest salaries among OECD and partner countries with available data. (60053 USD Equivalent, rank 6/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    After 15 years of experience, an upper secondary teacher with typical qualification can expect to have one of the highest salaries among OECD and partner countries with available data. (60053 USD Equivalent, rank 7/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    After 15 years of experience, a primary teacher with typical qualification can expect to have one of the highest salaries among OECD and partner countries with available data. (59459 USD Equivalent, rank 6/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Employment and educational attainment

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (50.9 %, rank 36/43 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds with below upper secondary education is comparatively high. (19.7 %, rank 8/42 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (7.5 %, rank 10/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-olds with below upper secondary education is compartively low in Ireland. (46 %, rank 41/43 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-olds with tertiary education is compartively high in Ireland. (87.3 %, rank 10/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old women with tertiary education is compartively high in Ireland. (85.2 %, rank 10/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Earnings and educational attainment

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the earnings of adults without an upper secondary education are relatively high compared to those of adults with an upper secondary or a post-secondary non-tertiary education. (91 Index, rank 3/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds without an upper secondary education with income from employment) are one of the highest among countries with available data. (91.6 %, rank 1/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds with upper secondary education and income from employment) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (73 %, rank 31/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds with income from employment) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (78.7 %, rank 29/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full- and part-time workers with a short cycle tertiary education are comparatively high. (129 Index, rank 8/27 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full- and part-time workers with a Bachelor's or equivalent education are comparatively high. (167 Index, rank 8/32 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full- and part-time workers with a Master's, doctoral or equivalent education are comparatively high. (208 Index, rank 10/32 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Migrant background and education status

    The proportion of 25-34 year-olds who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (55.5 %, rank 4/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 55-64 year-olds who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (42.9 %, rank 5/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (48.4 %, rank 26/27 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full-time full-year earners with below upper secondary education are comparatively low. (85 Index, rank 11/19 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The percentage of foreign-born 15-29 year-olds in education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (40.6 %, rank 10/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Governance

    The percentage of decisions taken at the central level of government for public lower secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries. (41.7 %, rank 10/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of decisions taken at the school level of for public lower secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries. (45.8 %, rank 10/34 , 2017) Download Indicator


    The data table will display up to six selected countries.
    General findings
    • Adults without tertiary-educated parents face greater challenges to attain tertiary level themselves: Only 21% do compared to 68% among those with at least one tertiary-educated parent.
    • While there is little difference on average between the level of tertiary attainment among native-born and foreign-born adults, there are large variations across countries. In Mexico the tertiary attainment of foreign-born adults is more than double that of native-born. In contrast, native-born adults in Slovenia are almost twice more likely to have attained tertiary education than their foreign-born peers.
    • The gender gap favors girls in education but men in the labour market: 50% of 25-34 year-old women attained tertiary education in 2017 compared to 38% of men. However the employment rate of tertiary-educated young women is about 9 percentage points less than for men and they earn only 74% as much as men with similar educational attainment on average across OECD countries.
    Visualisations
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    • In 2015, OECD countries spent on average around 5% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on educational institutions from primary to tertiary levels , with variations across countries from 3.1% in the Russian Federation to 6.4% in Norway.
    • On average, OECD countries spend USD 10 391 a year on educational institutions to educate each student from primary to tertiary education. This represents about USD 8 600 per student at primary level, USD 9 900 at secondary level and USD 15 500 at tertiary level.
    • Primary and secondary education accounts for almost 70% of total expenditure on primary to tertiary educational institutions, or around 3.5% of GDP, on average across OECD countries.
    • In 2015, public funding represented more than 80% of total expenditure on primary to tertiary educational institutions across the OECD countries, varying from 62% in Colombia to 99% in Norway. However only two thirds of total expenditure is financed through public sources on tertiary institutions on average across OECD countries.
    Visualisations
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    • In most countries, teachers above 50 years of age make up more than a third of the teaching force.
    • While the teaching profession is dominated by women, the share of female teachers decreases with the level of education taught: almost all teachers at the pre-primary level are women; however they make up less than half of the teaching force at tertiary level.
    • On average across OECD countries, statutory salaries of teachers at the top of their salary scales (and maximum qualifications) are between 77% and 81% higher than starting salaries (with minimum qualifications).
    • Teachers’ actual salaries at pre-primary, primary and general secondary levels of education are 82% to 96% of earnings of tertiary-educated workers on average across OECD countries.
    • While the average actual salary of primary and secondary female teachers is equal to or higher than the average earnings of full-time, tertiary-educated working women, primary and secondary male teachers earn between 77% and 88% of the average earnings of full-time, tertiary-educated working men.
    • Based on official regulations, public school teachers in OECD countries and economies are required to teach on average 1 030 hours per year at pre-primary level, 771 hours at primary level, 693 hours at lower secondary level (general programmes) and 646 hours at upper secondary level (general programmes).
    • On average across OECD countries, there are 15 students per teacher in primary education, 13 students per teacher in secondary education and 15 students per teacher in tertiary education.
    Visualisations
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    • On average across OECD countries, 75% of children aged 3 are enrolled in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC).
    • At age 4, on average across OECD countries, almost 88% of children are enrolled in pre-primary education.
    • Annual expenditure per child in early childhood development programmes was greater than in pre-primary education in 2015 on average across OECD countries.
    • Public funds represent a higher share of total expenditure at pre-primary level than on early childhood development programmes.
    Visualisations
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    • The share of first-time upper secondary graduates with a vocational qualification varied from 6% in Canada to 78% in Austria in 2016 with an average of 41% across OECD countries.
    • In 2016, across OECD countries, teaching hours for upper secondary, general programmes vary greatly from 405 hours in Denmark to 1064 hours in Chile with an average of 655 hours.
    • In 2016, the ratio of students to teaching staff in public upper secondary educational institutions across OECD countries varies from 9 in Portugal to 22 in Mexico with an average of 13 across OECD countries.
    • The employment rate for adults with upper secondary education is 18 percentage points higher than for those without. The employment advantage varies from 6 percentage points in Mexico to more than 30 percentage points in the Czech and Slovak Republics.
    Visualisations
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    • Between 2007 and 2017, the share of tertiary-educated young adults increased by 10 percentage points on average across OECD countries.
    • In 2015, OECD countries spent on average around 1.5% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on tertiary educational institutions, ranging from 0.5% in Luxembourg to 2.6% in the United States.
    • On average in OECD countries, 59% of young adults will enter a bachelor’s degree or equivalent programme in their lifetime while 24% are expected to enter a master’s or equivalent programme.
    • While there are large variations across countries, international and foreign students account for 6% of total enrolment in tertiary programmes and reach more than a quarter of enrolments at doctoral level on average across OECD countries.
    • Tertiary-educated adults are more likely to be employed and earn about 55% more than those with upper secondary education on average across OECD countries.
    Visualisations
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    Click the arrow sign next to the title: arrows to display other variables
    Click on the coverpage to see the full OECD iLibrary version
    Key
    Country Reviews for Ireland

    Note: These values should be interpreted with care since they are influenced by countries' specific contexts and trade-offs. In education, there is often no simple most- or least-efficient model. For instance, the share of private expenditure in education must be read against other measures designed to mitigate inequities, such as loans and grants; longer learning time is an opportunity to convey more and better content to students, but may hinder investments in other important areas. If you want further information on the nature of different variables, please take the time to read the analysis and contextual information, available at the website for each publication.
    All rankings for individual variables are compiled on the basis of OECD and G20 countries for which data are available. The OECD average includes only OECD countries which are listed here: http://www.oecd.org/about/membersandpartners/

    *TALIS averages are based on all countries participating in the TALIS survey, including partner countries and economies. This explains the difference between the OECD average and the TALIS average. Data from the TALIS survey and Education at a Glance (EAG) may differ. See Annex E of the TALIS technical report and Annex 3 of EAG 2017 for more details about the data collections.

    For additional notes, please refer to annexes in the list of links below the introductory country profile text.