Survey finds majority of Irish university students plan to immigrate after graduation

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Two-thirds of college students plan to emigrate after graduating from school in Ireland, according to a new survey released last month by Student Marketing Network. The survey cites better job opportunities as one of the main reasons for leaving Ireland.

The results from the online survey, taken by more than 1,200 university students across the country, found that 91 percent of students were worried about their future in Ireland, with the majority agreeing that they would need to immigrate in order to succeed in their career.

Meanwhile, 37 percent of those who said they planned to emigrate said they would leave directly after finishing their degree, while 39 percent said they would search for jobs in Ireland before resorting to emigrating to another country. The remaining 24 percent said they planned to immigrate in the "next few years".

Among other popular destinations, some 28 percent of the students surveyed cited Australia as their destination of choice while 20 percent opted for the US. Other destinations students were interested in emigrating to included Canada, the UK and Europe.

More than half (52 per cent) of those who saw themselves emigrating after graduation said that they planned on staying abroad for the "foreseeable future".

Over 90 percent of those surveyed said the Irish government was not doing enough to prevent young people from immigrating to other countries. Students suggested that the Irish government should increase the number of graduate and internship schemes available to college graduates as well as offering incentives to companies that provide graduate schemes.

"The government must act to reverse the announced cuts in education," said Colman Byrne, managing director of Student Marketing Network who served two terms as president of the Union of Students Ireland. "Our best and brightest are planning to leave our shores and the survey results show that the government's actions are exacerbating an already terrible situation. How are we supposed to build an economic recovery without our graduates?"

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