One of the many consequences of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ economic boom in Ireland during the late nineties and early part of the new century was that there was a lot of investment in education. A recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) measured the extent to which the population of a country held a college or college equivalent degree.
Between the years 2000 and 2010 the percentage of people with a higher level qualification in Ireland almost doubled, increasing at an annualized average rate of 7.3% – an amazing increase by any standard and this is despite recent cut-backs in the education sector.
By 2010 Over 37% of the population had a higher level qualification, compared to 51% in Canada, 46% in Israel, 42% in the USA and 38% in the UK. Ireland ranked in tenth place in the list of OECD countries, with the USA fourth and the UK in seventh placed.