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How Higher Education Works in Ireland

By Bernadette Farrell , Saturday 29th January, 13:02

Who’s in charge?


  • Overall responsibility for education in Ireland lies with the Minister for Education and Science who is a member of the Government and responsible to the Dáil.
  • While the Irish education system is provided by a combination of State and private institutions it is substantially State-funded and State-regulated.
  • The Department has devolved a number of its responsibilities to a series of semi state bodies that specialize in certain aspect of higher education. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is over themajority of these.

Who provides courses/programs?

1. Universities
There are seven universities in Ireland the University of Dublin Trinity College, the University of Limerick, Dublin City University and the four universities of the National University of Ireland (NUI). The NUI colleges are: University College, Dublin; University College, Cork; National University of Ireland, Galway, and National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

2. Institutes of Technology & Other Institutions of Higher Learning
In addition to the universities, there are 13 Institutes of Technology which form the other element of the Irish higher education system. Spread regionally, the Institutes offer a large number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. With the exception of the Dublin Institute of Technology which awards its own degrees, the Institutes' awards are made by the Higher Education and Training Awards Council.

When does it happen?

The academic year runs predominantly from September to June, typically divided into two semesters.

For Further Information:

Department of Education and Science
Higher Education Authority

Higher Education Institutions

Dublin City University
National University of Ireland, Galway
National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Trinity College Dublin
University College Cork
University College Dublin
University of Limerick

Institutes of Technology
Athlone Institute of Technology
Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
Dublin Institute of Technology
Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology
Institute of Technology, Carlow
Cork Institute of Technology
Dundalk Institute of Technology

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
Letterkenny Institute of Technology
Limerick Institute of Technology
Institute of Technology, Sligo
Institute of Technology, Tallaght
Institute of Technology, Tralee
Waterford Institute of Technology

Teacher Education Colleges
Coláiste Mhuire, Marino, Dublin
Church of Ireland College of Education, Rathmines, Dublin
Froebel College of Education, Blackrock, Co. Dublin
St. Angela's College, Lough Gill, Sligo
Mater Dei Institute of Education, Clonliffe Road, Dublin
Mary Immaculate College, Limerick
St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin

Other Colleges
Tourism College, Killybegs
National College of Ireland, Dublin
National College of Art and Design, Dublin
Pontifical University of Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Tipperary Institute

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)
Open University- Ireland

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