It is now cheaper for Irish students to pay off their education debt than it is for graduates in England, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The total amount owed by students in Ireland is €12,000 compared to £9,800 for graduates of the same year.
There are a total of 17,824 Irish students, or 17 per cent of the population, with a total amount of €21,000, compared to €21.9 million for graduates, according the latest ONS data.
However, the figure for students from England has fallen by over 40 per cent to €11,500.
More than 2,200 English students have graduated from Irish universities since 2007, but the figure has fallen to 563 students.
Meanwhile, there are a further 10,000 graduates who have not had any loans in Ireland, with the number of graduates rising to 2,400 from 1,600 in 2013.
Irish students were among the first groups of people to benefit from the introduction of the Direct Loans scheme, which means there are more than 4,200 graduates receiving payments from the scheme.
The Government is also making a further €2.5 billion available through the Student Loan Refinancing Scheme, which aims to extend the repayment of the existing loans.
As well as extending the repayment period, the scheme aims to lower the average rate of interest on the loans from the current average of 3.25 per cent.