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Education

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The statistics in this chapter have been obtained from the Department of Education and Skills, and the State Examination Commission. Results from the CSO’s Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) on Educational Attainment are also included. The data includes details of participation in and expenditure on first, second and third level education.

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7.1a Persons aged 15-64 years classified by the highest level of education attained
Thousands
Highest education level attained2010201120122013
    
Males  
Primary or below190.8174.8172.8159.1
Lower secondary286.8284.4280.1256.8
Higher secondary402.1400.0379.9381.6
Post leaving certificate172.5177.0184.3187.2
Third level non-honours degree163.8159.6158.9165.4
Third level honours degree or above272.5289.9301.9311.4
Other/Not stated50.043.831.937.1
Total1,538.51,529.41,509.81,498.6
    
Females    
Primary or below156.8143.3152.1129.3
Lower secondary239.8234.8226.4215.6
Higher secondary407.5401.2380.8376.8
Post leaving certificate155.4170.0173.9167.7
Third level non-honours degree238.9221.9223.6235.3
Third level honours degree or above298.8329.5345.6358.6
Other/Not stated47.337.229.536.1
Total1,544.51,538.01,531.81,519.4
    
All Persons    
Primary or below347.6318.1324.9288.4
Lower secondary526.6519.3506.5472.5
Higher secondary809.6801.2760.6758.5
Post leaving certificate327.9347.0358.2354.9
Third level non-honours degree402.8381.5382.5400.6
Third level honours degree or above571.3619.4647.5670.0
Other/Not stated97.380.961.373.1
TOTAL3,083.03,067.53,041.63,018.0
Note: A break in continuity has occurred in the Educational Attainment series resulting from changes to take account of the new ISCED 2011 classification and, therefore, data from 2014 is not directly comparable with earlier years.
Source: CSO
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7.1b Persons aged 15-64 years classified by the highest level of education attained
Thousands
Highest education level attained2014
Males
Primary or below154.8
Lower secondary264.3
Higher secondary382.6
Post secondary non-tertiary182.7
Third level non-honours degree156.9
Third level honours degree or above302.0
Other/Not stated47.1
Total1,490.5
Females 
Primary or below133.3
Lower secondary207.9
Higher secondary381.2
Post secondary non-tertiary180.4
Third level non-honours degree218.4
Third level honours degree or above352.6
Other/Not stated42.9
Total1,516.7
All Persons 
Primary or below288.1
Lower secondary472.2
Higher secondary763.7
Post secondary non-tertiary363.1
Third level non-honours degree375.4
Third level honours degree or above654.6
Other/Not stated90.0
TOTAL3,007.2
Note: A break in continuity has occurred in the Educational Attainment series resulting from changes to take account of the new ISCED 2011 classification and, therefore, data from 2014 is not directly comparable with earlier years.
Source: CSO

In 2014, 34.3% of those aged 15 to 64 years had a third level qualification. 71.7% of all persons aged between 15 and 64 years attained education levels of higher secondary level or above. Under 10% (9.6%) of persons aged 15 to 64 years had not progressed beyond primary level education.

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7.2 Persons in full-time education by level
    
Number
School yearFirst levelSecond level2Third level
1965/66504,865142,98320,698
1970/71520,129197,14224,496
1975/76550,078270,95633,148
1980/81568,364300,60141,928
1985/86576,576338,20755,088
1990/91552,528345,94169,988
1995/96485,923373,665102,662
2000/01444,782349,274126,300
2001/02447,446344,720131,812
2002/03448,754343,596137,323
2003/04451,755341,724143,271
2004/05455,572339,128143,546
2005/06462,811335,134145,287
2006/07477,078336,955149,502
2007/08490,838338,682148,014
2008/09501,448344,893152,686
2009/10510,460354,235164,843
2010/11514,852359,653169,209
2011/121516,458359,047163,068
2012/13526,422362,847164,863
2013/14536,317367,178168,982
2014/15544,696372,296173,649
1Revised
2Includes Post Leaving Certificate courses.
Source: Department of Education and Skills
School yearFirst levelSecond levelThird level
2005/06462811335134145287
2006/07477078336955149502
2007/08490838338682148014
2008/09501448344893152686
2009/10510460354235164843
2010/11514852359653169209
2011/12516458359047163068
2012/13526422362847164863
2013/14536317367178168982
2014/15544696372296173649

The number of students in first level education totalled 544,696 in 2014/15. This is an increase of over 8,300 over 2013/14 and is just short of 95% of the 576,576 figure recorded in 1985/86. The number at this level has fallen substantially since then, but has risen since 2001/02.

In the case of second level students, the participation rate rose strongly from 2005/06 until 2014/15, with 372,296 persons in full-time second level education in the academic year 2014/15.

There were 173,649 persons in full-time third level education in 2014/15, an increase of nearly 840% since 1965/66.

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7.3 Voted Expenditure1 by sector for financial year ended 31st December 2013
€m
SectorCurrentCapitalTotal
Gross expenditure   
First level education3,263.1238.63,501.7
Second level & further education grants & services2,992.1127.73,119.8
Third level & further education grants & services1,537.569.11,606.6
Skills development131.64.3135.9
Other services60.40.160.5
Gross total7,984.7439.88,424.5
Deduct total appropriations-in-aid560.53.5564.0
Total net expenditure7,424.2436.37,860.5
1Voted Expenditure refers to the ordinary services of the Department of Education and Skills, the monies for which are voted by the Dáil and included under Vote 26 of the 2013 Revised Estimates for Public Services.
Source: Department of Education and Skills

In 2013, total gross expenditure on education by the State was €8,424.5m. Expenditure on first level education was €3,501.7m, nearly 42% of the total gross expenditure on education.

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7.4 Second level State examination candidates
Number
State Examination20052006200720082009201020112012201320142015
             
Junior Certificate56,64057,78457,28755,94055,55756,08656,93058,79859,82260,32759,522
 Male28,62729,27328,81228,30828,36128,52329,25229,90730,55331,05030,309
 Female28,01328,51128,47527,63227,19627,56327,67828,89129,26929,27729,213
             
Leaving Certificate1 57,39154,11153,89355,54357,46157,83757,53255,81554,40856,97557,929
 Male27,18925,83225,73027,01528,25628,85528,71628,19127,51128,73628,761
 Female30,20228,27928,16328,52829,20528,98228,8162762426,89728,23929,168
            
All examination candidates114,031111,895111,180111,483113,018113,923114,462114,613114,230117,302117,451
 Male55,81655,10554,54255,32356,61757,37857,96858,09858,06459,78659,070
 Female58,21556,79056,63856,16056,40156,54556,49456,51656,16657,51658,381
             
1Includes Leaving Certificate Applied candidates
Source: State Exams Commission

In the academic year 2014/15, there were 117,451 second level examination candidates (59,070 males and 58,381 females).  There were 57,929 Leaving Certificate examination candidates, an increase of 1.7% on 2013/14.

 

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