Irish medical students are predominantly from financially better-off families and almost certainly will get a job in Ireland when they graduate or will pursue further study, a report from the Higher Education Authority says.

The HEA says there is a challenge to the higher education system and to the medical profession to do more to ensure greater diversity in medicine.

It finds that slightly more medical students are likely to be female.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of non-Irish students come from Asia, with Malaysia (37%) forming the biggest cohort.

Of the Irish graduates, 94% are employed in Ireland.

The study looked at all medicine students in the universities and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland during 2015/16 and then also surveyed graduates, nine months after they left college.