New figures claim that more than half (51 per cent) of students in Northern Ireland’s schools belong to Catholic background, while Protestants account for merely 37 per cent.
The remaining 12 per cent of school students in Northern Ireland belong either to other denominations of Christianity, or non-Christian backgrounds.
The figures released by the Department of Employment & Learning also show that only a third of the 35,000 students attending Northern Ireland’s universities are from Protestant background.
It comes after TUV leader Jim Allister yesterday claimed that the province’s universities were “failing to attract young Protestants” because of a “chill factor”.
Expressing disappointment over the figures, MLA Jim Allister urged the local universities to take sincere steps to encourage more admissions from Protestants.
However, many academics argue that the percentage of Catholic and Protestant students in local universities reflects demographics, there respective shares in the total population.
Speaking on the topic, University of Ulster said, “Access to the universities is based on performance at A-level and if students meet the entrance criteria, it is not based on religion.”
Earlier in March, a report titled “Educational Underachievement & the Protestant Working Class” claimed that a socially deprived Protestant school student had a 1-in-10 chance of attending university as compared with a 1-in-five chance for a similar Catholic student.