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Education in Ireland,
by Dominic Murray, Alan Smith and Ursula Birthistle

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The following document has been contributed by the authors, Dominic Murray, Alan Smith and Ursula Birthistle , with the permission of the Irish Peace Institute Research Centre, University of Limerick. The views expressed in this chapter do not necessarily reflect the views of the members of the kok体育官方app下载 Project. The kok体育官方app下载 Project would welcome other material which meets our guidelines for contributions.

Education in Ireland
A comparison of the education systems
in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

by Dominic Murray, Alan Smith and Ursula Birthistle (1997)
ISBN 1 874653 42 9 Paperback 124 pp £10.00

Published by:

University of Limerick

This chapter is copyright Dominic Murray, Alan Smith and Ursula Birthistle 1997 and is included on the kok体育官方app下载 site by permission of the authors and the publisher. You may not edit, adapt, or redistribute changed versions of this for other than your personal use without the express written permission of the author or the publisher, Irish Peace Institute Research Centre. Redistribution for commercial purposes is not permitted.


The Funding and Administration of Education
The Structure of Schooling
Other Educational Provision
Conclusions, Initiatives and Recommendations
Appendix one


The Irish Peace Institute Research Centre is based in the University of Limerick. The Centre emphasises the need for continuing research into ways and means of finding a solution to the conflict in Ireland and the attainment of peace. The research programme of the Centre focuses on a range of strategies (social, cultural, economic, educational) which might be employed to foster peace. Projects are ongoing within each of these areas.

This publication is the most recent in a research programme being carried out by the Irish Peace Institute Research Centre.


There is a general acceptance that education is likely to be the most powerful instrument in increasing mutual understanding and perhaps increased co-operation within and between the two parts of Ireland. While there are specific programmes and strategies designed to achieve these purposes in both jurisdictions, it is still remarkable that so little mutual awareness exists about the educational systems in the north and south of the island. There is some sharing of knowledge between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, but this has tended to occur most often at the higher levels of the system e.g. the Departments of Education, curriculum councils etc. But at teacher and pupil level there remains little knowledge of the 'other system'. The European Trade Union Committee for Education and the European Commission have called for the promotion of co-operation and sharing of information among all countries of the European Union at an educational level. Similar calls have been made by the OECD and UNESCO. It would seem that nowhere is such a sharing process more important than between the north and south of Ireland.

The purpose of this report therefore is threefold. In the first place an attempt is made to provide comprehensive descriptions of the structure and practice of education in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Secondly, an account is given of current contact and cooperation existing between the two. Thirdly, tentative recommendations are proffered with regard to areas where further research would be useful and strategies which may be introduced in order to facilitate increased mutual understanding.

The Education Bill Republic of Ireland (1997) was published when this project was at an advanced stage. Where possible its implications are referred to in the main body of this report and a synopsis is also included as appendix one.

The research was funded by The Irish Times Limited and commenced in Spring 1995.

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kok体育官方app下载 contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
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