Learning boom as numbers rise 17pc
IRELAND'S colleges have been feeling the impact of a 'student boom' -- with a 17pc rise in the number of people returning to education.
The effects of the downturn were starkly depicted in the number of men signing up to become full-time students -- with the rate of men aged from 19 to 24 in education rising from 27pc in 2006 to 39pc in 2011.
Overall, the census results show the number of students over the age of 15 has risen by 17pc -- from 349,596 in 2006 to 408,838 last year. However, men accounted for 61pc of the student boom. There was an 81pc rise in the number of men aged between 25 to 35 going to college.
"Clearly, when you look at the participation rates for young males there was a big gap between male and female participation rates back in 2006 when there were ample job opportunities in the construction sector for young males," the CSO's Deirdre Cullen said. "So, we've seen young males returning to education in 2011."
For the first time, the census results also investigated people's highest qualifications -- with 49pc of people over 15 having a qualification.
Despite more women having a third-level qualification, there were 4,066 more men with a doctorate or higher level qualification.
There were strong differences between the genders: 97pc of those qualified in childcare and youth services were women. Meanwhile, a small number of women, a little more than 1pc, had qualifications in motor vehicles, ship and aircraft sectors.