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HEA Statistical Newsletter

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Higher Education AuthorityHigher Education Authority


The HEA leads the strategic development of the Irish higher education and research system


HEA Statistics Newsletter Quarter 3 2022


Welcome to the third edition of the HEA Quarterly Statistics Newsletter.

In this issue we will be talking about the newly released Key Facts and Figures 2021/22 figures and dashboards, an Info-Byte on the Creative Arts in Higher Education and the latest Institutional Profiles publications.


Key Facts and Figures 2021/22


The latest Irish higher education statistics are hot off the press!  Key Facts and Figures 2021/22 are out now.

Our website has the latest statistics available in a series of interactive dashboards.  The key findings are as follows:

  • In 2021/22, there were 246,299 students (up 0.3% from 245,663 in 2020/21).
  • Almost two-thirds were studying Honours Degrees (61.6%), and 11.3% were studying a Taught Masters. In 2020/21, these were 60.8%, and 10.8%, respectively.
  • Ordinary Degrees are steadily declining in popularity (6.8% in 2021/22 and 7.3% in 2020/21, compared to 11.3% of 2015/16 students).
  • The gender gap has continued to widen, with females accounting for 54.5% of the overall student population. This is up from 54.0% in 2020/21, and up from 51.4% in 2015/16.
  • The most popular subject group studied is Business, Administration & Law (20.6%), followed by Health & Welfare (17.5%). In 2020/21, 22.3% studied Business, Administration & Law, and 17.3% studied Health & Welfare.
  • Internationally domiciled students made up 12.4% of the student population. This is up from 10.3% in 2020/21.
  • UCD is the largest higher education institution, with more than 29,000 students. This is followed closely by TU Dublin.
  • The US is the most common country of origin for Internationally domiciled students (14.8%). This is followed by India, and China. In 2020/21, the most common country of origin was China (13.5%), followed by the UK, and India.
  • Only 6.6% of new entrants were mature students. This is down from 7.0% in 2020/21. This has steadily declined from 10.9% in 2015/16.
  • Nearly 3 in 4 new entrants responded to the Equal Access Survey. This is an improvement from the 68.1% response rate in 2020/21. Of the 2021/22 respondents, 17.8% reported a disability. In 2020/21, 18.1% reported a disability.
  • In 2021/22, there were 88,638 graduates (up 8.8% from 81,461 in 2020/21).

And for anyone looking to access our data, you can now download directly from the website at the link below.


Read Key Facts and Figures here!


Download the latest data


Research Info-Bytes


Our latest Info-Byte on Creative Arts in Higher Education is out now.

The number of students studying creative arts courses over the past five years has grown from c. 14,200 to 14,700. 11% of creative arts students did not progress from year 1 to year 2 of their course in 2019/2020. This is compared to 9% of the general student population.

In terms of graduate outcomes, 68% of Creative Arts honours degree graduates are in employment nine months after graduation. This compares to 73% of honours degree graduates overall.  A total of 15% are in further study, compared with 20% of honours degree graduates overall.

More detail is available at the link below.


Info-Byte on Creative Arts in Higher Education


Institutional and System Profiles 2019/20


The Institutional Profiles for 2019/20 are available now. These are statistical profiles of each HEA higher education institution, including data on enrolments, graduates, participation, internationalisation, fields of study, research, knowledge transfer, finances and staffing.


Access the 2019/20 Profiles here


Did you know...?
... that you can access institutional profiles for previous years interactively? There have been 10 years of institutional profiles data published since 2010/11 and you can access these below.
Access the institutional profiles




Key deadlines, events and reports


Student Records System and Graduate Outcomes Survey returns:  Thanks to all those in HEIs who submitted data to us on time.

Roadshows: We've now completed three roadshows with our HEIs, and are arranging a new roadshow for agencies and Departments for December.

Socio-Economic Profiling: Our Q4 issue will cover the latest socio-economic profiling of students in Irish higher education.  Check back to our website for details over the coming month.


View our statistical publications

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