Low pupil-teacher ratios, highest rate of 3rd level participation and excellent network of 3rd level institutions. Childcare facilities are also second to none in the region.
- The average pupil-teacher ratio in Primary level is 17:1 compared to 19:1 in the Greater Dublin Area and 20:1 in Kildare and Meath.
- A bigger percentage of young people from the West attend third level education than anywhere else in the country.
- Sligo and Galway have the highest admission rates to college in the entire country, with 72% and 68% respectively, compared to a national average of 56%.
Primary and Secondary level
Primary schools generally have smaller classes which give children a great start in school. And secondary schools in the West have an excellent record, both in terms of results achieved and of college entry. A higher proportion of second level students go on to further education than the national average resulting in a young, vibrant and highly educated workforce—a huge draw for business.
Along with the churches and local GAA clubs, schools often act as community hubs in rural areas. Sports, a wide variety of after school activities and fundraisers help bring community members together.
Third Level Education
The West and surrounding counties have an excellent network of third level institutions, with Universities, Institutes of Technology and specialist Colleges. Together they offer a broad range of courses in business, science and engineering, software, media, hospitality, the humanities, art and others.
These universities and colleges are strongly committed to working with local companies, thus strengthening the enterprise base. Most third level institutions have business incubation centres, business liaison offices and/or technology transfer offices. They offer services for both start-ups and established companies including incubation space, training, facilitation of research collaboration and intellectual property advice.
- National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) was named Irish University of the Year, 2002 – 2003, 2009 – 2010 by the Sunday Times University Guide. With approximately 15,000 students, the university boasts an active and vibrant student life, with over 60 sports clubs and over 83 active societies.
- The University of Limerick, Athlone Institute of Technology and University of Ulster at Magee may not be in the region, but they are within easy reach.
The West is home to three Institutes of Technology;
- Galway/Mayo IT (GMIT) The multi-campus structure facilitates specialist areas of study: at Castlebar in Outdoor Education & Health Science; at Letterfrack in Furniture Design and Manufacture; at Mountbellew in Agriculture and at Cluain Mhuire in Galway city in Film & Television and Art & Design. The IiBC at GMIT enables companies to work in a secure, innovative, entrepreneurial environment as they progress through the various stages of a new company start-up
- Institute of Technology Sligo has built up a substantial reputation in environmental education and research. It was was among the first in the sector to develop a Business Innovation Centre on the campus
- Letterkenny IT (LYIT) is very active in a range of cross-border initiatives in partnership with educational institutions across Northern Ireland, and also has an active Business Development Centre.
The West also has specialist colleges;
The Vocational Education Committees, along with many other organisations, also offer a range of adult education courses. Check out Courses4U and Nightcourses.com for more information.