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Ireland: Real current public expenditure on education, 2003-2012

4.1 Ireland: Real current public expenditure on education, 2003-2012
     
 € per student at 2012 prices€m at 2012 prices
 LevelReal current public expenditure
YearFirst1SecondThird
20035,3907,82510,5396,687
20045,7947,91410,3326,893
20055,8988,26210,6897,133
20066,1038,62511,2167,498
20076,2469,08511,0787,822
20086,3619,20710,8668,061
20096,6059,30710,3148,343
20106,4939,0109,8988,293
20116,4558,9119,1618,326
20126,2728,7358,4178,005
 Source: Department of Education and Skills, CSO
     
1 Second level includes further education, e.g. post-Leaving Certificate programmes.
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Ireland: Real current public expenditure on education, 2003-2012
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  • Real expenditure per student in Ireland increased by 16.4% at first level and by 11.6% at second level over the period 2003-2012.
  • However, at third level there was a decrease of a fifth (20.1%) in real expenditure per student over the same time period.
  • Real expenditure per student in 2012 at primary level was three-quarters (74.5%) that at third level.
  • In 2003, real expenditure per student at second level was just under three-quarters (74.2%) that at third level but by 2012 it stood at €8,735, which was just ahead of the third level figure of €8,417.

Ireland: Student numbers by level, 2003-2012

4.2 Ireland: Student numbers1 by level, 2003-2012
     
   number
 Level
YearFirstSecondThird (full-time)Third (part-time)
2003444,644338,679133,88734,000
2004447,337336,775133,69134,509
2005452,734334,060136,71931,354
2006463,341332,929138,36231,014
2007477,489334,277139,13433,883
2008491,432337,599146,06833,027
2009501,748345,062156,97332,665
2010507,460352,855160,76532,761
2011512,375357,283164,23933,252
2012520,444360,567166,08834,087
Source: Department of Education and Skills
    
1 Only students in institutions which are aided by the Department of Education and Skills are included in this table.
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Ireland: Student numbers by level, 2003-2012
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  • Student numbers increased by 17% at first level between 2003 and 2012, increasing from 444,644 to 520,444.
  • Between 2003 and 2006 the number of second level students dropped from 338,679 to 332,929. The numbers increased steadily over the following six years to stand at 360,567 in 2012, an increase of 6.5% on the 2003 figure.
  • The number of full-time third level students increased strongly by nearly a quarter (24.1%) between 2003 and 2012 while the number of part-time students increased slightly by 0.3%.

EU: Public expenditure on education, 2008-2010

4.3 EU: Public expenditure on education1, 2008-2010
    
   % of GDPper pupil/student in €PPS
Country2008200920102010
Denmark7.78.78.89,972
Cyprus7.58.07.910,850
Ireland (GNI)6.67.87.78,228
Sweden6.87.37.08,437
Finland6.16.86.87,365
Belgium6.46.66.68,865
Ireland (GDP)5.76.56.58,228
Estonia5.66.1:4,026
Austria5.56.05.9:
Netherlands5.56.06.07,945
France5.65.95.97,667
Portugal4.95.85.66,151
United Kingdom5.45.7:6,501
Slovenia5.25.75.76,671
Latvia5.85.65.03,437
Lithuania4.95.65.43,750
EU5.15.4:6,339
Malta5.75.36.77,833
Hungary5.15.14.94,232
Poland5.15.15.24,255
Germany4.65.1:6,732
Spain4.65.05.07,861
Italy4.64.74.56,699
Bulgaria4.44.64.12,562
Czech Republic3.94.44.24,762
Romania:4.23.52,185
Slovakia3.64.14.24,203
Greece4.1::4,479
Luxembourg3.2::13,054
     
Iceland7.67.87.67,266
Norway6.47.26.910,647
Switzerland5.05.45.29,865
Croatia4.34.34.33,894
Turkey2.9::1,335
Source: Eurostat
 
1 2005 data used for Greece, 2006 for Turkey and 2007 for Luxembourg for expenditure as a % of GDP. For expenditure per pupil/student in PPS, 2005 data used for Greece, 2006 for Turkey, 2007 for Luxembourg and 2009 for EU, Germany, Estonia, Poland and the United Kingdom.
  • Public expenditure on education in Ireland as a percentage of both GDP and GNI increased between 2008 and 2010, due mainly to the decrease in GDP and GNI over this time period.
  • When expenditure is examined per pupil/student in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS), Ireland has the sixth highest expenditure in the EU.
  • Average public expenditure on education, as a % of GDP, was 5.4% in the EU in 2009.

EU: Ratio of students to teachers, 2010/2011

4.4 EU: Ratio of students to teachers, 2010/20111 
     
    ratio
CountryPrimary and secondaryPrimaryLower secondaryUpper secondary
Lithuania 8.19.97.57.9
Luxembourg9.79.922.18.9
Greece8.610.17.77.3
Hungary11.310.710.512.4
Poland10.711.010.011.1
Portugal9.111.28.27.3
Sweden11.811.311.313.0
Latvia10.311.48.110.9
Italy12.011.711.512.8
Denmark:11.8::
Austria10.212.19.19.8
Belgium10.512.48.110.1
Malta9.312.97.011.6
Spain11.413.210.39.8
Cyprus11.413.610.010.1
Finland13.313.79.316.3
Ireland15.115.7:14.4
Slovenia12.716.07.914.3
Germany15.716.314.213.8
Estonia16.116.314.717.0
Slovakia14.416.913.114.3
Bulgaria13.817.512.612.4
Romania15.217.813.115.6
France14.418.414.810.0
Czech Republic13.318.711.111.7
United Kingdom17.719.915.217.3
Netherlands16.320.615.335.5
     
Iceland10.710.210.611.5
Norway10.110.410.09.7
Croatia10.914.310.39.6
Macedonia13.219.18.014.3
Turkey20.021.0:17.8
 Source: Eurostat, Department of Education and Skills
     
1 2006/2007 data used for Greece.
  • Ireland had a student to teacher ratio of 15.7 at primary education level in 2010/2011. This was the eleventh highest ratio in the EU. The lowest ratios of 9.9 were in Lithuania and Luxembourg.
  • The overall student to teacher ratio for first and second level education for Ireland in 2010/2011 was 15.1 which was the sixth highest out of the 26 countries in the EU for which data was available.
  • The highest overall student to teacher ratio for first and second level education was in the United Kingdom at 17.7 while the lowest was in Lithuania at 8.1.

EU: Primary and lower secondary average class size, 2010/2011

4.5 EU: Primary and lower secondary average class size, 2010/20111
   
  number
CountryPrimaryLower secondary
Lithuania15.320.2
Luxembourg15.719.7
Latvia15.915.6
Cyprus17.021.0
Greece17.121.7
Estonia17.416.7
Slovakia17.520.3
Austria18.221.3
Poland18.322.5
Slovenia18.519.2
Italy18.921.6
Romania19.321.2
Finland19.420.3
Czech Republic19.921.3
Malta19.920.8
Denmark20.420.8
Portugal20.822.8
Bulgaria20.922.1
Hungary20.921.1
Germany21.224.6
Spain21.324.3
Netherlands22.4:
France22.724.7
Ireland24.120.3
United Kingdom24.819.5
   
Iceland18.319.9
Switzerland19.118.5
Croatia19.921.3
Macedonia20.819.7
Turkey26.1:
Source: Eurostat, Department of Education and Skills
1 2005/2006 data used for the Netherlands and 2009/2010 data used for Ireland and Switzerland for Primary. 2006/2007 data used for Ireland and 2009/2010 data used for Switzerland for Lower Secondary.
  • The average class size in Ireland for primary education was 24.1, the second highest among reporting EU countries, after the United Kingdom, at 24.8.
  • The lowest average class size for primary education was 15.3 in Lithuania.
  • At lower secondary level, Ireland had the ninth lowest average class size at 20.3. The lowest was in Latvia at 15.6 while the highest was in France at 24.7.

EU: Persons aged 25-34 with third level education, 2012

4.6 EU: Persons aged 25-34 with third level education by sex, 2012
     
   % of population aged 25-34
CountryPersonsMalesFemalesPercentage points differential
Cyprus53.746.660.2-13.6
Luxembourg48.546.450.6-4.2
Lithuania48.439.757.3-17.6
Ireland46.940.453.0-12.6
United Kingdom44.442.646.1-3.5
Sweden43.637.250.4-13.2
Belgium42.635.349.9-14.6
Estonia41.930.453.9-23.5
France41.236.845.5-8.7
Netherlands40.536.644.3-7.7
Finland39.730.749.2-18.4
Latvia38.025.351.1-25.8
Spain37.732.642.9-10.4
Denmark36.829.444.3-14.9
Poland36.729.144.5-15.4
EU34.830.339.4-9.0
Slovenia34.523.946.2-22.3
Greece32.627.737.8-10.1
Hungary31.926.237.9-11.7
Portugal29.825.334.2-8.8
Germany29.026.731.4-4.7
Romania28.325.730.9-5.2
Czech Republic27.422.932.3-9.5
Slovakia27.021.532.8-11.3
Bulgaria27.020.633.8-13.1
Malta26.123.030.2-7.2
Austria23.121.624.6-3.0
Italy22.117.227.1-9.9
     
Norway45.237.453.4-16.0
Switzerland40.341.838.83.1
Iceland35.927.643.6-16.1
Macedonia26.423.229.7-6.5
Turkey19.921.318.42.8
Croatia17.514.520.6-6.1
   Source: Eurostat LFS
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Ireland: Persons aged 25-34 with third level education, 2003-2012
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  • In 2012, 46.9% of the population aged 25-34 in Ireland had third level education, which was the fourth highest rate in the EU and compares with 34.8% across the EU as a whole.
  • In all EU countries more females than males aged 25-34 had third level education while Latvia had the highest percentage points differential of 25.8%.
  • In Ireland, over half (53%) of females aged 25-34 had a third level qualification, compared to 40.4% of males.
  • The proportion of the the population aged 25-34 in Ireland with third level education has risen steadily in recent years, from 36.7% in 2003 to 46.9% in 2012. (See chart for data.)

EU: Student performance on the reading, mathematical and scientific literacy scales, 2012

4.7 EU: Student performance on the reading, mathematical and scientific literacy scales, 2012
    
 Mean score of 15 year old students
CountryMathematical literacyReading literacyScientific literacy
Netherlands523511522
Estonia521516541
Finland519524545
Poland518518526
Belgium515509505
Germany514508524
Austria506490506
Ireland501523522
Slovenia501481514
Denmark500496498
Czech Republic499493508
France495505499
OECD average494496501
United Kingdom494499514
Latvia491489502
Luxembourg490488491
Portugal487488489
Italy485490494
Spain484488496
Slovak Republic482463471
Lithuania479477496
Sweden478483485
Hungary477488494
Greece453477467
Romania445438439
Cyprus440449438
Bulgaria439436446
    
Switzerland531509515
Iceland493483478
Norway489504495
Croatia471485491
Turkey448475463
 Source: OECD, Educational Research Centre
  • Ireland had the 8th highest mathematical literacy for 15 year old students among participating EU countries in 2012, with a score of 501, above the OECD average of 494. The highest scores in the EU were in the Netherlands, Estonia and Finland.
  • In reading literacy, Ireland had the second highest score in 2012 among participating EU countries,  with a score of 523 and was well above the OCED average of 496. The highest score in the EU was in Finland at 524.
  • Ireland ranked 6th highest for scientific literacy with a score of 522, compared to an OECD average of 501. Finland, Estonia and Poland had the highest scores in the EU for scientific literacy.

EU: Early school leavers, 2012

4.8 EU: Early school leavers, 2012 
    
  % of population aged 18-24
CountryPersonsMalesFemales
Slovenia4.45.43.2
Slovakia5.36.04.6
Czech Republic5.56.14.9
Poland5.77.83.5
Lithuania6.58.24.6
Sweden7.58.56.3
Austria7.67.97.3
Luxembourg8.110.75.5
Netherlands8.810.27.3
Finland8.99.88.1
Denmark9.110.87.4
Ireland9.711.28.2
Germany 10.511.19.8
Estonia10.514.07.1
Latvia10.514.56.2
Greece11.413.79.1
Cyprus11.416.57.0
Hungary11.512.210.7
France11.613.49.8
Belgium12.014.49.5
Bulgaria12.512.113.0
EU12.814.511.0
United Kingdom13.514.612.4
Romania17.418.016.7
Italy17.620.514.5
Portugal20.827.114.3
Malta22.627.517.6
Spain24.928.820.8
    
Croatia4.24.63.6
Switzerland5.55.75.3
Macedonia11.711.112.3
Norway14.817.611.9
Iceland20.123.616.5
Turkey39.636.143.0
  Source: Eurostat LFS
  • The proportion of persons aged 18-24 who left school with, at most, lower secondary education in Ireland was 9.7% in 2012.
  • The EU average rate was 12.8% and varied from about one in twenty five (4.4%) in Slovenia to nearly a quarter (24.9%) in Spain.
  • The proportion of males aged 18-24 who left school early is higher than females in all EU countries with the sole exception of Bulgaria.

Ireland: Mathematics, Science and Technology graduates, 2001-2010

4.9 Ireland: Mathematics, Science and Technology graduates, 2001-2010
   
 per 1,000 population aged 20-29
YearMalesFemales
200128.916.8
200226.414.6
200331.716.8
200432.014.6
200534.315.2
200630.312.7
200725.511.8
200827.111.8
200924.110.5
201029.311.2
 Source: Eurostat
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Ireland: Mathematics, Science and Technology graduates, 2001-2010
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  • Over the period 2001 to 2006 the proportion of male mathematics, science and technology graduates in Ireland was close to or above 30 per 1,000 males aged 20-29.
  • The proportion fell in 2007 to 25.5, rose to 27.1 in 2008, fell again in 2009 to 24.1 and increased to 29.3 in 2010.
  • The proportion of female graduates in these disciplines fell by a third between 2001 and 2010, from 16.8 per 1,000 females aged 20-29 to 11.2.