University Fast Facts




Compiled by the Higher Education Authority (HEA)

New Entrants 2015/2016

  • Full –Time Undergraduates – 23,931  – up from 22,030 in 2010/2011

All Enrolments 2015/2016

  • 119,798 in Universities

University Enrolments 2015/2016

  • Full-Time 100,793
  • Part-Time 15,574
  • Remote 3,431

Full-Time Enrolments by Discipline

Discipline Full Time Undergraduates Full Time Postgraduates
Education 2,179 3% 2,128 12%
Services 303 0% 95 1%
Generic Programmes & Qualifications 772 1% 6 0%
Arts & Humanities 18,575 22% 1,914 11%
Social Sciences, Journalism and Information 6,979 8% 2,281 13%
Business, Administration & Law 15,241 18% 3,251 18%
Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics 11,892 14% 2,343 13%
Information & Communication Technologies 4,018 5% 1,063 6%
Engineering, Manufacturing & Construction 6,633 8% 1,738 10%
Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries & Veterinary 1,712 2% 232 1%
Health & Welfare 14,332 17% 3,106 17%


Research Enrolments 2015/2016 – Total 8,396

  • Almost 9 in 10 research students are studying in Universities
  • Full Time Masters Research (Postgraduate) 644  (down from 679 in 14/15)
  • Full Time PhD (Postgraduate) 6,333 (down from 6,338 in 14/15)
  • Part Time Masters Research (Postgraduate) 182 (down from 208 in 14/15)
  • Part Time PhD (Postgraduate) 1,237 (up from  1,188 in 14/15)

Research Enrolments by Discipline 2015/2016

Discipline Full Time Part Time
General Programmes     1 0%
Education 232 3% 235 17%
Services 0 0% 0 0%
Arts & Humanities 854 12% 140 10%
Social Sciences, Journalism and Information 865 12% 244 17%
Business, Administration & Law 436 6% 189 13%
Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics 1,714 25% 87 6%
Information & Communication Technologies 323 5% 57 4%
Engineering, Manufacturing & Construction 957 14% 89 6%
Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries & Veterinary 232 3% 22 2%
Health & Welfare 1,364 20% 355 25%



Mature Students

  • of the full-time new entrants in 2015/16 – 7% were mature students
  • part-time new entrants – 93% mature students

% of Mature Students New Entrants 2015/2016 by discipline

Discipline Full Time Part Time
Education 1% 1%
Arts & Humanities 8% 1%
Social Sciences, Journalism and Information 24% 3%
Business, Administration & Law 11% 31%
Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics 8% 0%
Information & Communication Technologies 3% 12%
Engineering, Manufacturing & Construction 3% 2%
Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries & Veterinary 37% 1%
Health & Welfare 6% 23%




HEA Equal Access Survey 2015/2016 – Socio Economic Group of Respondents

  • 23,639  (73%) New Entrants in Universities responded to this voluntary survey
Socio Economic Groups 2014/2015 2015/2016
Employers & Managers 18.8% 19.4%
Higher Professional 13.9% 14.7%
Lower Professional 9.9% 10.1%
Non Manual 9.9% 9.7%
Manual Skilled 8.2% 8.4%
Semi –Skilled 4.2% 4.3%
Unskilled 3.6% 3.6%
Own Account Workers 6.9% 6.5%
Farmers 6.8% 6.8%
Agriculture Workers 0.3% 0.2%
All other gainfully occupied and unknown 17.6% 16.3%

HEA Equal Access Survey 2015/2016 – Ethnic Group of Respondents

Irish 88.5%
Irish Traveller 0.1%
Any other white background 6.1%
African 1.1%
Any other black background 0.1%
Chinese 0.9%
Any other Asian background 1.8%
Other 1.4%

HEA Equal Access Survey 2015/2016 –  (Uni & IoT) Respondents with a disability

  • 5.8% of respondents – Blindness, deafness, Severe Vision or Hearing Impairment
  • 8.0% of respondents – Physical Condition
  • 57.4% – Specific Learning Difficulty 
  • 29.4% – Psychological /Emotional Condition
  • 21.8% – Other, inlc. Chronic Illness



Staff Numbers in Whole Time Equivalents 2014

Academic 4,292
Non-Academic 4,850
Research and Specialist Academic 3,301
Research and Specialist Non- Academic 2,008
Total(14,119 in 14/15) 14,450 

Gender Breakdown of Staff 2015

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





  • DCU was awarded university status in 1989.
  • Over 50,000 students have graduated from DCU and are now playing significant roles in enterprise and business globally.
  • In the 2016 QS Top 50 Under 50 DCU is ranked 44th in the world.
  • In the last nine years, DCU has twice been named Sunday Times ‘University of the Year’.
  • In 2016 will deliver more than 200 programmes to over 16,000 students across its five faculties – Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Health, Engineering and Computing, DCU Business School and the DCU Institute of Education.
  • DCU was the first university in Ireland to introduce work placements (Intra) as part of its degree programmes.
  • Almost 70% of students take part in Intra work placement or study abroad.
  • DCU was the first university in Ireland to offer academic credits for extra-curricular activities. Since its inception in 2000, over 1000 undergraduate students have participated in the DCU Uaneen module.
  • 22% of the DCU student population are international students representing over 110 different nationalities.
  • 30% of students are from non-traditional backgrounds (Mature, Access, Disability, Distance).
  • Over 1000 students entered DCU via Access routes – the highest of any Irish university.
  • The DCU Alpha Innovation campus is home to over 30 companies and 330 staff.
  • Over 700 Primary & Secondary school teachers graduate from DCU Institute of Education every year.
  • 92% of DCU graduates are in employment or further study within 6 months of graduation.
  • DCU accommodation service provides purpose-built residences over three campuses, providing more than 1,400 rooms for undergraduate and postgraduates.
  • 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 has over 17,000 students including 2000 international students from 92 countries.
  • 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 secured 1,924 internships for students with employers all over Ireland.* New employers who took placement students include Bord Gáis, Goldman Sachs and Shell. *Source: U-Multirank 2012/13
  • Its student completion rate is 87%
  • NUI Galway ranks among the top 2% of Universities in the world. In the past five years, NUI Galway has been the only university in Ireland to rise consistently in the most competitive World University Rankings. Both the QS and Times Higher Education Rankings have placed the University in a higher position year-on-year.
  • Galway has been dubbed the ‘Most Charming City’ by the New York Times  and has been designated the European Capital of Culture for 2020.
  • Galway has a reputation as a safe, young and student friendly city. Students make up 20% of the population and they bring youth, energy and excitement to the city.
  • 3 NUI Galway scientists have been named in the “World’s Top 100 Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014” by the multinational media body Thompson Reuters.


  • Maynooth University is simultaneously Ireland’s youngest university and one of its oldest educational institutions. With the Universities Act of 1997, the National University of Ireland and the college at Maynooth became the National University of Ireland, Maynooth (Maynooth University), a university in its own right, independent of 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 11,000 students.
  • There are approx 1,500 international students from 85 countries
  • MU has a network of 50,000 alumni across the globe
  • More than 3,250 students placed Maynooth University as their first preference on their CAO applications in 2016. The figure represents a 5% increase on 2015. The University’s Bachelor of Arts degree is now the most popular programme in the country, with first preference applications increasing by 16%.
  • 28% of the full-time undergraduate student population is supported by the Maynooth Access Programme.
  • Over 6% of the student body at Maynooth comprises students with disabilities which is one of the highest participation rates in the country.
  • Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings 2016 Maynooth University is recognised as one of the leading new universities in the world, ranked #68 in the latest Times Higher Education (THE) ‘Top 150 under 50’ list. 
  • Featured in the Times Higher Education Top 200 Most International Universities 2016
  • 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.
  • Approximately 1200 students live on campus.
  • 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.


  • Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin is the top ranked university in Ireland. Using the QS 2018 methodology it is ranked 104th in the world and using the Times Higher Education World University Rankings methodology it is 117th in the world.
  • Founded in 1592, Trinity is situated in the heart of Dublin’s city centre, at the centre of the country’s transport hub, in a beautiful campus which contains a wonderful mix of modern and historic facilities (including the country’s largest research library).
  • With almost 18,000 students, TCD students represent 118 different nationalities and come from every county in Ireland (with over 50% from outside Dublin) and all socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Trinity’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.
  • Our three faculties are Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Engineering, Mathematics and Science; and Health Sciences.
  • Trinity has over 170 sports clubs and societies.
  • There are over 100,000 alumni across the globe. Alumni of note include poet and author Oscar Wilde, novelist Samuel Beckett, writer Jonathan Swift, former Presidents of Ireland Mary Robinson and Mary MacAleese.


  • 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 20,000 full-time students (of which 14,000 are undergrads)
  • UCC has over 3,000 international students from 100 countries around the world.
  • 93% of undergraduates go on to employment or further study.
  • UCC offers 120 degree and professional programmes
  • UCC is internationally acclaimed as one of the top 2% of research institutions in the world.
  • Its research income over the past 5 years exceeded €401 million.
  • 62% of Ireland’s most highly cited researchers are from UCC.
  • 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 has 59 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 over 33,460 students (including overseas operations). 
  • 28% of undergraduates are from under-represented groups.
  • UCD is a large employer with over 1,520 academic staff, over 1,700 support staff and has an annual turnover of €441 million.
  • 25% of staff are international.
  • UCD is Ireland’s leader in postgraduate education with almost 8,652 graduate students  and 1,546 PhD students. 
  • UCD is home to 7038 international students from 131 countries.
  • UCD has over 235,000 alumni across 165 countries.
  • UCD is one of Europe’s leading research-intensive universities and has won over €514m 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. It was classified as the University of Limerick in 1989.
  • The UL campus is located 5km from Limerick City and 20km from Shannon International Airport.
  • UL has over 12,500 undergraduate students and over 2600 postgraduate students
  • The University of Limerick was named ‘University of the Year 2015 in the Sunday Times Good University Guide.
  • 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 28% 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 €35 million in investment funding and currently employ in excess 80 people locally.
  • In a 2015 QS Stars™ audit UL was awarded a maximum 5-Star rating in innovation (patents, spin-off companies and industrial research).
  • The University of Limerick is recognised to have particular strengths in the areas of Materials, Advanced Manufacturing, Software, Health, and Applied Mathematical Sciences.
  • UL is home to the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance and the Irish Chamber Orchestra.
  • UL has  73 different Clubs & Societies with over 3500 members.
  • Six on-campus villages provide accommodation for 2,500 students.