Trends in Education Spending

Education is widely recognised to be a crucial factor in social and economic wellbeing. In recent times, however, educational funding has come under increased pressure as public expenditures have seen substantial reductions.

This Research inBrief is divided into two main sections. The first section offers a cursory glance at recent trends in public expenditure on education and situates Ireland’s expenditure among comparable European nations. The second section outlines possible future developments.

The recession and subsequent fiscal retrenchment have had a substantial impact on the public outlay by the Department of Education and Skills. declines in overall spending are reflected in reductions in current public expenditure per capita. Real current spending per capita has remained relatively steady for primary and secondary levels, showing decreases from 2009 maximums of 4% and 10% respectively to the year 2013. Higher education funding, however, has been hit particularly hard. Per capita current public spending for higher level education has fallen by about 27% from its high in 2006 to the year 2013 at constant 2013 prices.

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