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While there has been a long history of modelling the economic impact of higher education institutions (HEIs), little research has been undertaken in the context of Ireland. This paper provides, for the first time, a disaggregated input–output table for Ireland's higher education sector. The picture painted overall is a higher education sector that adds considerable gross value to the national economy, whether via state or other income. In 2010–2011, the gross income of Irish HEIs, as a total of €2.6 billion, generated gross output nationwide of €10.6 billion. This study also contributes to the major challenges facing the sector in a post-Bailout environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1601-1623
Number of pages23
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number9
Early online date1 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge support from the Irish Research Council (RPG2013–6 (SFI/HEA Assessing the Impact of Publicly-Funded Research, Development and Innovation), Theme 2). We also wish to thank Ned Costello of the Irish Universities Association, Tom Boland and Muiris O'Connor of the Higher Education Authority, Niamh Brennan of Trinity College Dublin, Maurice Peat of University of Sydney, Michael Dowling of Dublin City University and Stephen Kinsella of University of Limerick for valuable insight and assistance.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Society for Research into Higher Education.


  • economic impact
  • Input–output analysis
  • institutes of technology
  • Ireland
  • universities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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