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City of talent

Student studies in Queens University Belfast library

Loyal and skilled workforce

Belfast is a city brimming with talent. Our skilled workforce is key to attracting investors to Belfast and our knowledge economy is the second fastest growing in the UK according to Catalyst Inc. 

Consistently low turnover levels emphasise the work ethic and commitment displayed – as a result, 75 per cent of our investors have reinvested.  

Further and higher education supporting business growth

  • We have two universities, Queen's University Belfast (QUB) and Ulster University (UU), which have a combined student population of 45,000.
  • QUB is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research intensive universities and it has plans to invest £223 million in its capital programme.
  • UU was in the top 150 new universities in the world according to The Times Higher Education Supplement 2016 and is currently investing £250 million on a new state of the art 75,000 sq metre city centre campus.

Both universities are active in global research networks. They underpin and generate 16,000 graduates and postgraduates.

Both are also involved in supporting spin outs and encouraging Knowledge Transfer Partnerships between business and academia. They are also part of the Catalyst Inc which provides property, business support and investment advice to knowledge based businesses and early stage entrepreneurs. 

  • Belfast Metropolitan College is the largest provider of further and higher education and training in Northern Ireland and has strong links with local businesses across all sectors.

Research excellence

Over 70 per cent of our university research activity is world leading or internationally excellent according to the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment.

We have globally recognised ICT related research centres in areas such as secure information technologies and cognitive robotics and Queen’s University is home to the world’s first sonic laboratory which allows research teams to develop and implement cutting edge initiatives in the creation and delivery of music and audio.

Our education rivals the best

Our schools, colleges and universities rival the best in the world and our youthful population provides a strong talent pool for investors across a range of sectors, with a strong emphasis on STEM subjects:

  • Northern Ireland was the top performing region in the UK for GCSEs and A Levels in 2016.
  • Northern Ireland has the best performing education system for primary school pupils in maths in Europe (TIMMS and PIRLS, 2015).
  • 77 per cent of school leavers in Belfast go on to study at further and higher education colleges resulting in a highly educated workforce. 
  • UU has one of the largest departments of computing studies in the UK and Ireland.


Contact us
Economic Development
+44 28 9027 0482
4 - 10 Linenhall Street
Belfast
Northern Ireland
United Kingdom
BT2 8BP