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Ireland doubles student say-on period towards internationalisation

Ireland's government has extended the ‘stay on’ period for post graduates at Masters and PhD level of non-EU/EEA origin. The new permission doubles the term for which postgraduates may remain in the country from 12 months to 24 months, so they may take up or seek employment and/or apply for further work permits or green cards. Eligible graduates are those who pursued their studies at recognised Irish awarding body at Masters or PhD level, while foreign students completing honours undergraduate degrees continue to have a 12-month stay back option and those pursuing ordinary undergraduate degrees remain eligible to stay back 6-months.

Tighter restrictions on the working period of international graduates have stifled chances of getting hired in some employment sectors, and allowing qualified students to stay on longer is to contribute to filling skills gaps and raise the overall employability of postgraduates emerging from the Irish higher education system.  

The governmental move corresponds with key objectives embedded in Ireland’s international education strategy launched October 2016, that aims to boost its international attractiveness as a study destination, raise the value of the sector by 33% (EUR 2.1 billion) and the international student body to 37 000 , for Ireland to become a top education provider in Europe by 2020.  The plan identifies high potential sending markets that include Canada, South Korea, Argentina and Nigeria, with increased funding ready to be spilled into the attraction of Chinese, American, Indian, Brazilian as well as students from the Gulf region.

These measures align with growing international trends in higher education that seek to incentivise and retain the brightest of minds across the globe by allowing for extended integration periods.

Education Ireland – press release