91% of students concerned about their future in Ireland, emigration trend set to continue. 

Over two thirds of college students are considering emigrating after completing their 3rd level education, according to a survey carried out by youth marketing agency, Generation Y, through Oxygen.ie. The survey, which was also carried out in 2014, shows there has been a 52% increase in the number of young people concerned about their future in Ireland, figures which have jumped from 39% to 91%. Reasons for emigrating vary from the belief of better job opportunities abroad, not being able to secure a job in their field of study to wanting to spend a few years travelling before jumping onto the professional ladder.

Approximately 1,000 students nationwide took part in the survey, which was carried out over a 10 day period. Over 80% of those surveyed intend on emigrating for a minimum of 3 years with over 62% intending to stay away for at least four years. This is a drastic increase from results compiled in 2014 where only 39% said they planned on living abroad for the same duration of time.

66% jeopardise their GPA by having to work whilst studying.

The survey also revealed the huge increase in university fees over the last couple of years. In 2014, 45% of students were paying over €2,000 in comparison to 83% of students now paying over €2,000. With fears of registration fees increasing yearly, young people may start to view working straight after school more appealing, unless the Government introduce a form of pay freeze or fix on University registration fees nationwide, which were some of the suggestions noted by students who took part in this survey. The recently published Cassells report into third level funding also suggests that the current situation is unsustainable. Two thirds of students must work whilst studying in order to support themselves, and they feel that having to work and study simultaneously has a direct impact on their overall degree which may hinder them in their future endeavours.

94% state the National Housing Crisis is impacting them directly.

The survey also revealed the stark realisation of the National Housing Crisis as 94% of students believe they are directly affected whilst sourcing and maintaining a home while undergoing their studies, which, undoubtedly causes an extra load of stress. One quarter of students surveyed revealed they are still unsure about their accommodation for the incoming academic term.

Already feeling the pinch and not even out of college, students are worried about their future in Ireland with only 28% of those surveyed believing they will be in the financial position to purchase their first home between the ages of 35-40 years. 96% of students surveyed believe the Government at present are not doing enough to combat the current housing crisis, and unless they provide a long-term solution to this problem, we will no doubt continue to see the trend of emigration in the coming years.

Colman Byrne, spokesperson for Generation Y and oxygen.ie and former two-term president of Union of Students Ireland, commented; ‘The results from this survey are simply staggering. The Government need to listen to the younger generation and provide them with sustainable solutions. They need to look at creating more opportunities for the youth of Ireland and introducing feasible graduate schemes. If we want our children and grandchildren to stay in Ireland, we must provide them with the means to do so. We had an overwhelming response to the survey, which indicates that students of today’s Ireland are more than concerned with the state of the nation and their future prospects here and want their voices to be heard.’

 For further information please e-mail editor@oxygen.ie.