University Fast Facts



Compiled by the Higher Education Authority (HEA)


New Entrants 2014/2015

  • Full –Time Undergraduates – 23,243 (up 1337 from 2009/10)

University Enrolments 2014/2015

  • Full-Time 95,120
  • Part-Time 15,655
  • Remote 2,928

Full-Time Enrolments by Discipline

Discipline Full Time Undergraduates Full Time Postgraduates
Education 1,613 2% 1,410 8%
Services 297 0% 86 0%
Generic Programmes & Qualifications 178 0% 2 0%
Arts & Humanities 17,950 23% 2,075 12%
Social Sciences, Journalism and Information 6,812 9% 2,246 13%
Business, Administration & Law 13,570 18% 3,311 19%
Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics 11,313 15% 2,341 13%
Information & Communication Technologies 3,634 5% 1,150 7%
Engineering, Manufacturing & Construction 6,352 8% 1,629 9%
Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries & Veterinary 1,757 2% 234 1%
Health & Welfare 14,039 18% 3,121 18%


Research Enrolments 2014/2015 – Total 8,413

  • Full Time Masters Research (Postgraduate) 679
  • Full Time PhD (Postgraduate) 6,338
  • Part Time Masters Research (Postgraduate) 208
  • Part Time PhD (Postgraduate) 1,188

Research Enrolments by Discipline 2014/2015

Discipline Full Time Part Time
General Programmes 1 0%
Education 219 3% 247 18%
Services 0 0% 0 0%
Arts & Humanities 910 13% 147 11%
Social Sciences, Journalism and Information 869 12% 211 15%
Business, Administration & Law 445 6% 212 15%
Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics 1,708 24% 78 6%
Information & Communication Technologies 330 5% 60 4%
Engineering, Manufacturing & Construction 912 13% 115 8%
Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries & Veterinary 234 3% 19 1%
Health & Welfare 1,390 20% 306 22%



Mature Students

  • of the 23,243 full-time new entrants in 2014/15 – 8% were mature students
  • part-time new entrants – 93% mature students

% of Mature Students New Entrants 2014/2015 by discipline

Discipline Full Time Part Time
Education 4% 8%
Arts & Humanities 24% 20%
Social Sciences, Journalism and Information 12% 8%
Business, Administration & Law 11% 5%
Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics 9% 0%
Information & Communication Technologies 4% 5%
Engineering, Manufacturing & Construction 3% 4%
Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries & Veterinary 1% 1%
Health & Welfare 31% 8%




HEA Equal Access Survey 2014/2015 – Socio Economic Group of Respondents

  • 82% of New Entrants Responded to this voluntary survey
Socio Economic Groups Non-Mature Mature
Employers & Managers 18.8% 15.6%
Higher Professional 13.9% 11.1%
Lower Professional 9.9% 14.4%
Non Manual 9.9% 14.4%
Manual Skilled 8.2% 13.1%
Semi –Skilled 4.2% 9.4%
Unskilled 3.6% 6.9%
Own Account Workers 6.9% 9.2%
Farmers 6.8% 5.8%
Agriculture Workers 0.3% 0.3%
All other gainfully occupied and unknown 17.6% 0


HEA Equal Access Survey 2014/2015 – Ethnic Group of Respondents

Irish 89%
Irish Traveller 0.1%
Any other white background 6.1%
African 1.2%
Any other black background 0.1%
Chinese 0.5%
Any other Asian background 1.3%
Other 1.5%



Staff Numbers in Whole Time Equivalents 2014

Academic 4,278
Non-Academic 4,863
Research and Specialist Academic 3,175
Research and Specialist Non- Academic 1,803
Total 14,119


Staff Qualifications – Full Time Academic Staff 2014

PhD & Masters 93%
PhD 81%
Masters 12%


Gender Breakdown of Staff 2014

Academic Non Academic
43% Female 65% Female
57% Male 35% Male


Other HEA Facts and Figures for the entire HE Sector

  1. One in every twenty-two people in Ireland is a higher education student (either full time or part-time) – 4.6% of the population.
  2. That represents over 210,000 students (about the population of Co. Kildare) – an increase of 44,000 in a decade. About 170,000 are full time and 40,000 part-time.
  3. 38,000 students are studying at postgraduate level – about the population of Co. Longford.
  4. There are 3,500 more female students in higher education than male students. At undergraduate level, the balance between males and females is 50:50, but there is a higher percentage of females at postgraduate level (54% female to 46% male).
  5. Over one in ten full time students come from abroad and of these, three quarters are from outside the European Union, including 8% from the Southern Hemisphere.
  6. A total of 36,500 Irish full-time students are from Dublin, 18,800 are from Cork, and 10,100 are from Galway.  Between the three counties, this represents 42% of Irish full-time students.
  7. Every year, nearly 66,000 students graduate from a higher education institution, and of these nearly 20,000 receive a postgraduate award.
  8. For every new entrant studying a Health and Welfare programme, there are two studying a Science, Engineering or IT programme, and four studying Arts, Business or Social Sciences programme.
  9. One in every eight entrant to college is a mature student (over 23 years of age) while 5% of the student body are over 35.
  10. There are currently 146 students aged 70 or over! It’s never too late to learn.



  • DCU was awarded university status in 1989.
  • DCU has been ranked 86th in the 2012 Times Higher Education Top 100 universities less than 50 years old.
  • DCU was also ranked in the QS World Top 50 under 50 University Rankings
  • There are 11,126 registered students at DCU in 2010/11. This includes full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students (8,782), part time students (1,564) as well as students on the Distance Education degree programmes (780).
  • DCU offers over 60 undergraduate and 70 postgraduate programmes across a broad range of areas including engineering, computing, business, humanities, social sciences, science and health. Many of their degree programmes are unique to DCU and many of them offer unique discipline combinations, e.g. business with languages
  • In 2011, more than 800 students from 26 undergraduate programmes completed INTRA (Internship Programme) placements.
  • DCU graduates are highly sought after by employers. Some of our more prolific alumni include: John Jordan (Director of Marketing, Irish Dairy Board), Gervaise Slowey (MD, Ogilvy), Sean McGrath (Vice President of HR, World Bank),Colin Cunningham (Co-founder of Cynergy), Noel Curran, Director General of RTE, Matt Cooper (Journalist, Today FM) and Laura Whitmore (Presenter, MTV).
  • Postgraduate research supervision is provided on a broad range of subject areas across all disciplines, including technology, engineering, business, communications, humanities, science and health.
  • DCU has developed its own research specialisms, creating a number of national centres of excellence that collaborate with other universities and industry internationally.
  • DCU accommodation service provides 995 undergraduate rooms and 105 postgraduate rooms in four residential apartment blocks.
  • DCU is home to Ireland’s largest arts centre. The Helix hosts a wide range of musical, theatrical and dance performances to suit every taste.


  • NUI Galway first opened its doors to 63 students on 30th October in 1849.
  • NUI Galway is Ireland top university for graduate employability with over 96% of graduates employed or in further study within 6 months of graduating.
  • NUI Galway has over 17,000 students including 2000 international students from 92 countries.
  • NUI Galway has 2,200 staff
  • NUI Galway has 90,000 alumni in 107 countries
  • NUI Galway has 120 links with universities across the globe
  • There are 82 student societies and 41 sports clubs
  • NUI Galway is world leading for research in:
    • Biomedical Science and Engineering
    • Marine Science
    • Human Rights
    • Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy
    • Humanities, in particular literature, theatre and Irish studies
    • Web Science
    • Energy & Environmental Science
  • Research Highlights include:
    • The first UNESCO Chair in the Republic of Ireland, in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement
    • The largest research institute for developing internet technology
    • Ireland’s primary stem cell and gene therapy research institute
    • The world’s leading experts in human rights law


  • Maynooth University is Ireland’s second oldest university founded in 1795 as St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.
  • Situated 25km west of Dublin, it is located in Ireland’s only university town, Maynooth.
  • Maynooth University  is rapidly expanding with more than 8,800 students. It recorded the highest growth in first preference school‐ leaver applications in the university sector in 2010
  • Two Entrance Scholarship Schemes are awarded automatically, which recognise students who achieve either 525 to 545  points in the Leaving Certificate, or  545 points or more in the Leaving Certificate examination.More information is available online at
  • Over a third of academic staff and 15% of students are come from abroad.
  • In June 2012 Maynooth University  announced a collaboration with Dublin City University (DCU) and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) called the 3U Partnership.
  • Maynooth University  offers a wide variety of degree programmes, including specialised subjects such as immunology, climatology, product design, music technology, and the only anthropology department in the Republic of Ireland
  • Maynooth University  counts two Nobel Peace Prize winners among its 40,000 alumni and current academics.
  • A €100 million building programme has recently been completed, resulting in the most up-to-date academic facilities and student accommodation.
  • The Maynooth University  campus possesses some of the finest state-of-the-art research facilities in Ireland.
  • Maynooth University  has seven cutting‐edge research institutes on campus and the best record for commercialising research of any Irish university
  • Maynooth University  has won an international reputation for the standing of its research expertise in areas as diverse as immunology, agro-ecology and space technology.


  • The University of Dublin, Trinity College is Ireland’s oldest university founded in 1592.
  • Trinity College Dublin is ranked in 67th position in the top 100 world universities by the QS World University Rankings 2012.
  • In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2012 TCD is ranked 110th in the top 200 world universities and 42nd in the top European universities.
  • For 2015/16 there are 17,511 students, with 12,742 being undergraduates, and 58% being female.
  • TCD’s major research institutes and centres in areas such as neuroscience, globalisation, immunology, molecular medicine and the Trinity Long Room Hub for the arts and humanities are firmly established among the international leaders in their fields.
  • There are over 95,470 alumni. Alumni of note include poet and author Oscar Wilde, novelist Samuel Beckett, writer Jonathan Swift, former Presidents of Ireland Mary Robinson and Mary MacAleese.
  • Our three faculties are Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Engineering, Mathematics and Science; and Health Sciences.
  • TCD has in excess of 220,000 m2 of buildings, including beautiful historic architecture and state-of-the-art modern facilities.
  • TCD has over 100 college societies and 50 active sports clubs.



  • UCC is one of Ireland’s oldest institutions of higher education, founded as a Queen’s College in 1845.
  • The first female students were admitted to Queen’s College, Cork in the academic year 1885/’86. In 1910, Cork was the first Irish college to appoint a female professor, Mary Ryan, Professor of Romance Languages.
  • UCC has 18,820 full-time students (2010-11).
  • UCC has over 2,400 international students from 98 countries around the world
  • UCC is internationally acclaimed as one of the top 2% of research institutions in the world.
  • The University’s research centres include:
    • Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre
    • Analytical and Biological Chemistry Research Facility
    • BioSciences Institute
    • Boole Centre for Research in Informatics
    • Cork Constraint Computation Centre
    • Environmental Research Institute
    • Tyndall National Institute
    • Oral Health Services Research Centre
  • UCC is going through the largest capital programme in its history with a capital spend of circa €30 million per annum and an overall programme value of in excess of €400 million.
  • UCC has 54 Sports Clubs and 78 active student societies
  • UCC was the world’s first university to receive a Green Campus Award for its on-going Environmental efforts.


  • UCD was established in 1854 by John Henry Newman author of the classic work The Idea of a University.
  • UCD is Ireland’s largest university with almost 25,000 students.
  • UCD is the most popular destination for Irish school-leavers.
  • UCD is Ireland’s leader in postgraduate education with almost 7,000 postgraduate students, representing approximately 28% of the UCD student population, and almost 2,000 PhD students. Over 50% of UCD undergraduates progress to postgraduate studies.
  • UCD is home to almost 5,000 international students from 121 countries.
  • UCD accounts for over 30% of international students, over 25% of all postgraduate students and almost 28% of all doctoral enrolments across the seven Irish universities.
  • UCD is one of Europe’s leading research-intensive universities and has won over €480m in externally funded research contracts in the last five years.
  • UCD has prioritised four major research themes which build on the university’s established or emerging research strengths:
    • Earth Sciences, Energy and the Environment
    • Health and Healthcare Delivery
    • Information, Computation and Communication
    • Global Ireland.
  • As well as generations of Irish business, professional, cultural and sporting leaders perhaps the best known of all UCD’s graduates is the writer James Joyce, who completed his Bachelor of Arts at the university in 1902.


  • The University of Limerick (UL) was established in 1972 as the National Institute for Higher Education, Limerick.
  • UL was classified as the University of Limerick in 1989.
  • The UL campus is located 5km from Limerick City and 20km from Shannon International Airport.
  • Five on-campus villages provide accommodation for 2,401 students and 24 staff.
  • UL has over 12,000 students of which over 2400 are international and 1400 staff (2010/11).
  • UL offers a range of programmes up to doctoral and postdoctoral levels in the disciplines of:
    • Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
    • Business, Education and Health Sciences
    • Science and Engineering.
  • As part of their degree programme all students, regardless of discipline, undertake relevant work experience of 6-8 months duration across UL’s network of 1700+ employers spanning twenty five countries. About 25% of these placements are international.
  • UL is adjacent to the National Technology Park (NTP), Ireland’s first science/technology park which is home to over 80 organisations employing over 4,000 people.
  • UL campus companies have attracted in excess of €35million in investment funding and currently employ in excess 80 people locally.
  • In a 2011 QS Stars™ audit UL was awarded a maximum 5-Star rating in innovation (patents, spin-off companies and industrial research).
  • UL’s Research Priority Areas include:
    • Materials and Surface Science
    • Information & Communication Technologies
    • Bioengineering & Biosciences
    • Culture, Diversity and Social Change
    • Energy & Sustainable Environment
    • Applied Mathematics
  • UL is home to the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance and the Irish Chamber Orchestra.