Publication of statistical fact sheet: Higher Level Apprenticeships at Higher Education Institutions in NI, 2021/22

Date published: 24 May 2023

The Department for the Economy has today published a statistical fact sheet on Higher Level Apprenticeships (HLA) at Higher Education Institutions in NI.

Economic Output Statistics
Economic Output Statistics

This official statistics release presents a range of analysis on the characteristics, subject areas and numbers qualified for students on Higher Level Apprenticeships delivered at HEIs.

The key points are:

  • In academic year 2021/22, 270 starts commenced HLA programmes at HEIs in NI. This is almost double the starts in 2020/21 (140).
  • The most deprived quintile has consistently recorded the lowest number of HLA starts at HEIs since the programme began. They accounted for only 6% of HLA starts in 2021/22.
  • In 2021/22 there were 650 students completing level 6 and 7 HLAs at HEIs.
  • Approximately four in ten (38%) HLA students at NI HEIs were female in 2021/22. There were 250 female students compared to 400 males.
  • In 2021/22 the number of HLA students completing Broad STEM (56%) subjects was greater than that of Non-STEM (44%).
  • In 2021/22, 115 students successfully qualified with HLAs at NI HEIs. There were 40 females and 75 males.

This full statistical bulletin and other information is available to download from the Department for the Economy HLA web page.

Notes to editors: 

1. The statistics presented in this bulletin are based on data derived from HESA.

2. An academic year period is defined by each provider and can potentially differ; an academic year traditionally starts in September and finishes in July the following year.

3. Further notes and details are available in the bulletin on the Department’s website.

4. For further information, please contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at

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6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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