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


  • > Notes on the education system in Ireland
    Education system in Ireland

    Ireland
    Overview of the education system (EAG 2020)
  • On average, 36% of all upper secondary students enrol in VET programmes in Ireland, a lower proportion than the OECD average of 42%.
  • In 2019, 70% of 25-34 year-olds had a tertiary degree in Ireland compared to 45% on average across OECD countries.
  • In Ireland, in 2018, 25-64 year-olds with a tertiary degree with income from full-time, full-year employment earned 57% more than full-time, full-year workers with upper secondary education compared to 54% on average across OECD countries.
  • In 2017, Ireland invested a total of USD 10 489 per student on primary to tertiary institutions compared to USD 11 231 on average across OECD countries. This represents 3.4% of GDP, compared to 4.9% on average across OECD countries.
  • In 2018, all 3-5 year-olds were enrolled in early childhood education and care programmes and primary education in Ireland, compared to 88% on average across OECD countries.
  • 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

    In Ireland, 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. (34.5 %, rank 1/46 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 year-olds who attained a doctoral or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the highest among countries with available data. (1.7 %, rank 5/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The average age of upper secondary graduates from vocational programmes in Ireland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data (30.4 Years, rank 4/36 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The average age of upper secondary graduates from general programmes in Ireland is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data (17.6 Years, rank 30/38 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Attainment by gender

    In Ireland, the share of 25-64 year-old men who attained a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the largest among countries with available data. (32.6 %, rank 3/46 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-64 year-old women who attained a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the largest among countries with available data. (36.4 %, rank 1/46 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The enrolment rate among 15-19 year-olds in Ireland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (92.7 %, rank 5/40 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of three-year-olds in early childhood education in Ireland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (97.6 %, rank 6/41 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of four-year-olds in early childhood and primary education in Ireland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 1/41 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of 40-64 year-olds in Ireland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (4.7 %, rank 4/39 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of upper secondary 15-19-year-old students enrolled in vocational programmes is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (10.7 %, rank 36/39 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of upper secondary 20-24-year-old students enrolled in vocational programmes is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (98.3 %, rank 2/38 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of students enrolled in school- and work-based programmes among all upper secondary students enrolled in vocational programmes is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 1/26 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Graduation by gender

    The share of female graduates from upper secondary vocational programmes is one of the largest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (61.3 %, rank 2/39 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of business, administration and law is relatively high. (54.7 %, rank 5/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of female graduates among post-secondary non-tertiary graduates from vocational programmes in Ireland is relatively low. (47.3 %, rank 19/25 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Graduation by field of education

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of arts and humanities is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (11.6 %, rank 10/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of social sciences, journalism and information is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (5.8 %, rank 39/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (7.6 %, rank 6/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of information and communication technologies is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (7.9 %, rank 2/42 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (8.6 %, rank 34/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the proportion of upper secondary vocational graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (2.3 %, rank 35/35 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the proportion of upper secondary vocational graduates in the field of health and welfare is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (36.4 %, rank 1/35 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the proportion of upper secondary vocational graduates in the field of services is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (10.2 %, rank 26/35 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the percentage of post-secondary non-tertiary vocational graduates in the field of business, aministration and law is relatively low. (0.4 %, rank 24/25 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the percentage of post-secondary non-tertiary vocational graduates in the field of services is relatively low. (8.8 %, rank 21/25 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Adult learning

    The percentage of employed adults participating in job-related non-formal education and training sponsored by the employer is relatively high. (52.9 %, rank 10/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the proportion of adults employed in enterprises of over of 249 persons and participating in job-related non-formal education and training sponsored by the employer is high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (70.4 %, rank 5/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the number of annual hours of participation of adults in formal and/or non-formal education and training is comparatively low (86 %, rank 22/26 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the number of annual hours of participation of adults in non-formal education and training is comparatively low (36 %, rank 34/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the number of annual hours of participation of adults without an upper secondary education in formal and/or non-formal education and training is comparatively low (56 %, rank 21/24 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the number of annual hours of participation of adults without an upper secondary education in formal education and training is comparatively high (267 %, rank 7/10 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the number of annual hours of participation of adults without an upper secondary education in non-formal education and training is comparatively low (39 %, rank 32/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the number of annual hours of participation of adults with upper secondary or post-secondary education in non-formal education and training is comparatively low (38 %, rank 32/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the number of annual hours of participation of adults with tertiary education in formal and/or non-formal education and training is comparatively low (92 %, rank 22/26 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the number of annual hours of participation of adults with tertiary education in non-formal education and training is comparatively low (35 %, rank 36/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The annual training costs per participant are one of the highest across OECD countries and partner countries. (2331.2 %, rank 6/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the annual training costs as a share of total labour costs is relatively high compared to other OECD countries and partner countries. (2.2 %, rank 6/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In enterprises of 10-49 employed persons, the annual training costs as a share of total labour costs is relatively high. (2 %, rank 2/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In enterprises of ver 249 employed persons, the annual training costs as a share of total labour costs is relatively high. (2.4 %, rank 7/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    In Ireland, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of social sciences, journalism and information is relatively low. (6.2 %, rank 32/36 , 2018) 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 33/36 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (71.5 %, rank 29/35 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of social sciences, journalism and information among all national tertiary students in Ireland is relatively low. (5.6 %, rank 33/35 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the share of new entrants in short-cycle tertiary programmes in the field of social sciences, journalism and information is relatively small. (6.2 %, rank 32/36 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, the share of new entrants in short-cycle tertiary programmes in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is relatively small. (9.5 %, rank 33/36 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Student mobility by field of education

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of education among all international or foreign tertiary students in Ireland is relatively low. (1.3 %, rank 32/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of social sciences, journalism and information among all international or foreign tertiary students in Ireland is relatively low. (6.9 %, rank 29/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of engineering, manunfacturing and construction among all international or foreign tertiary students in Ireland is relatively low. (11.3 %, rank 26/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Expenditure per student

    Annual expenditure per tertiary student is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (16185 USD Equivalent, rank 4/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per student on research and development in tertiary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (609 USD Equivalent, rank 34/35 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Expenditure per student on research and development for primary to tertiary education in Ireland is comparatively low. (103 USD Equivalent, rank 35/35 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The average annual growth in the number of full-time equivalent students from primary to tertiary education between 2012 and 2017 is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (2.2 %, rank 4/37 , 2017) 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. (3.4 %, rank 33/36 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, expenditure on secondary educational institutions as a percentage of GDP is comparatively low. (1.1 %, rank 37/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, expenditure on tertiary educational institutions as a percentage of GDP is comparatively low. (0.9 %, rank 32/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, government expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education from initial source of funds is relatively low. (2.2 %, rank 27/28 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, public 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. (2.2 %, rank 42/42 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, government expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on primary to tertiary education from initial source of funds is relatively low. (3 %, rank 25/27 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Ireland, public expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on primary to tertiary education from final source of funds is relatively low. (2.8 %, rank 42/42 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The total expenditure on early childhood and care educational institutions, as a percentage of GDP, is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.2 %, rank 28/29 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Public and private expenditure in education

    In Ireland, the share of private expenditure on tertiary education from initial source of funds is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6.3 %, rank 23/27 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Tuition fees

    The estimated average annual tuitions fees charged by public institutions, for foreign students in master's or equivalent level in Ireland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (21965 USD Equivalent, rank 1/5 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The estimated average of annual tuition fees charged by public institutions for foreign students in doctoral programmes is relatively high. (15538 USD Equivalent, rank 2/7 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in lower secondary school is especially low. (165 Days, rank 33/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in upper secondary school is especially low. (165 Days, rank 33/34 , 2019) 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. (59650 USD Equivalent, rank 6/32 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The average actual lower secondary teacher's salary among teachers aged between 25-64 is one of the highest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (61162 USD Equivalent, rank 4/28 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries progression

    Salaries of primary school teachers with minimum training at the top of scale are especially high. (68564 USD Equivalent, rank 7/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Salaries of lower secondary teachers with minimum training after 10 years of experience are especially high. (55214 USD Equivalent, rank 8/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Ratio of student to teaching staff

    The number of students per teacher in tertiary institutions is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (20.4 Ratio, rank 7/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Organisation of the education system

    The number of instruction days per year for lower secondary students is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (165 Days, rank 36/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Employment and educational attainment

    The employment rate among 35-44 year-olds without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (54.3 %, rank 40/42 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Unemployment and educational attainment

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a doctoral or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the lowest of all OECD countries and partner economies for which data are available. (1.4 %, rank 19/21 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Among the unemployed population aged between 25 and 64 with below upper secondary education, the share of those who have been unemployed for at least 12 months is one of the largest in Ireland, compared to other OECD countries. (63.2 %, rank 6/38 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The inactivity rate of 25-34 years-old adults with below upper secondary education is high in Ireland. (44.6 %, rank 3/41 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Earnings and educational attainment

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (34.9 %, rank 27/28 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The proportion of female full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (5 %, rank 28/28 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 55 to 64 without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (23.9 %, rank 27/28 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The proportion of female full-time earners among all earners aged 55 to 64 without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (9.6 %, rank 27/28 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 with upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (54.2 %, rank 27/28 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The proportion of female full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 with upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (27.3 %, rank 26/28 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 55 to 64 with upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (38.2 %, rank 25/27 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 with tertiary education is comparatively low. (76.3 %, rank 23/28 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 55 to 64 with tertiary education is comparatively low. (56.4 %, rank 25/28 , 2017) Download Indicator

    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. (96 Index, rank 2/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (among 25-64 year-olds without an upper secondary education with income from employment) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (72.2 %, rank 28/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (among 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education and income from employment) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (69.1 %, rank 32/37 , 2017) 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. (77.8 %, rank 30/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full and part-time workers with tertiary education are comparatively high. (180 Index, rank 5/37 , 2017) Download Indicator


    The data table will display up to six selected countries.
    General findings
    
                            
    • While 37% of 15-19 year-old upper secondary students are in vocational programmes, the share increases to 61% among students over 25.
    • The most popular fields of study among vocational graduates vary at different levels of education. While engineering, manufacturing and construction is the most common broad field at upper secondary level, at short-cycle tertiary level, most students graduate from business, administration and law, or health and welfare.
    • Combined school and work-based learning can help students transition smootly into the labor market. However, only one -third of all upper secondary vocational students are enrolled in school and work-based programmes 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
    
                            
    • Between the age of 3 to 5, 88% of children are enrolled in pre-primary and primary education, on average across OECD countries.
    • The estimated expenditure on all children aged 3 to 5 enrolled in ECEC and primary education amounts to an average of 0.6% of GDP. Only in Iceland and Norway does it equal or exceed 1.0%.
    • The ECEC workforce is at the heart of high-quality education. On average across OECD countries, there are 14 children for every teacher working in pre-primary education (ISCED 02).
    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 2019, 45% of 25-34 year-olds held a tertiary degree, compared to 28% among 55-64 year-olds, on average across OECD countries.
    • On average across OECD countries, 17% of first-time tertiary entrants enter short-cycle tertiary programmes. The employment rate of adults with a short-cycle tertiary degree is 4 percentage points higher than those with an upper secondary vocational attainment and they earn 16% more, on average across OECD countries.
    • Based on current patterns, it is estimated that 38% of young adults across OECD countries will graduate from tertiary education for the first time before the age of 30 (excluding international students).
    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 2017, total expenditure amounted to approximately USD 9 100 per student in primary institutions and USD 10 500 in secondary institutions on average across OECD countries.
    • After increasing between 2005 and 2012, total expenditure on primary to tertiary institutions as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen to 4.9% in 2017 on average, below its 2005 value of 5.1%. This is due to educational expenditure rising more slowly than GDP over this period, growing by 17% while GDP grew by 27%.
    • Private sources financed more than 30% of the expenditure, on average, at tertiary level compared to 10% at primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level.
    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
    
                            
    • There are relatively few young teachers (under the age of 30), and the proportion decreases with the level of education. Young teachers make up 12% of the teaching population in primary education, 10% in lower secondary education and 8% in upper secondary education, on average across OECD countries.
    • While instruction time for students increases at higher educational levels, statutory teaching time in public institutions decreases: teachers in OECD countries and economies are required to teach on average 778 hours per year at primary level compared to 680 hours at upper secondary level (general programmes).
    • Between 2005 and 2019, the statutory salaries of primary and secondary general teachers - with 15 years of experience and the most prevalent qualifications - increased by 2-3%, despite salaries falling after the 2008 economic crisis, on average across OECD countries and economies with available data.
    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/

    Reference years displayed in the Education GPS correspond to the most common year of reference among countries for which data is available on each variable. Some countries may have provided data refering to another year, to know more about possible exceptions on data please click on the "Download Indicator" link on each variable. When a year of reference corresponds to a school year encompassing two years, the reference reads as follows: 2018 for school year 2017/2018.

    *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 2019 for more details about the data collections.

    B-S-J-Z (China) refers to the four PISA-participating provinces/municipalities of the People's Republic of China: Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

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