One in eight University of Limerick graduates emigrating to find work

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

AROUND one in eight students who graduated from the University of Limerick last year have gone abroad to find work, UL confirmed as it celebrates three days of conferrals this week.

AROUND one in eight students who graduated from the University of Limerick last year have gone abroad to find work, UL confirmed as it celebrates three days of conferrals this week.

University chiefs said that in spite of high unemployment rates, its graduates had a higher than average chance of finding employment compared to other third level institutions.

It also released details of its graduate employment survey for 2010, which found that while the numbers emigrating were up on the boom years, they were nowhere near the levels recorded during the era of mass emigration of the 1980s.

During that decade, the share of graduates who went overseas to find employment reached as high as 25 per cent, said Mary Sweeney, head of the careers service at UL. This fell to seven per cent during the boom but had crept up to 13 per cent by last year.

The survey, conducted eight months after graduation, was responded to by over 80 per cent of the students who got degrees last year.

Among the primary degree graduates of 2010, 45 per cent are working in Ireland, 13 per cent have secured jobs abroad, 27 per cent are in further study, five per cent are not available for employment (for example by taking a year out) while 10 per cent are seeking a job.

“There has been a slight increase in the numbers going overseas to work in recent years but it hasn’t been dramatic,” Ms Sweeney said.

“And overall, our graduate employment rate has gone up so we were very pleased with that.”