Third-level education, foreign direct investment and economic boom in Ireland
Ireland’s dramatic economic boom of the 1990s has been referred to as “the era of the Celtic Tiger”. In a little over a decade, real national income per head jumped from 65 percent of the Western European average to above parity, unemployment tumbled from double to less than half the European Union average and numbers at work increased by over 50 percent. Much research has been carried out on the impact of each of the separate elements agreed to have been important in stimulating or sustaining the boom. The present paper focuses on one key under-researched synergy – the nexus between the country’s industrial strategy, which focused on attracting foreign direct investment in certain high-tech sectors, and the orientation of the third-level educational system that had been developed in Ireland over recent decades.
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