91% of Students concerned about their future and 80% intend to emigrate

The Union of Students in Ireland said the government risks losing a generation at the forefront of tech, medicine and scientific growth if it doesn’t prioritise the future of young people in Ireland. 91% of students are concerned about their future in Ireland and over two thirds of college students are considering emigrating after completing their third level education, according to a survey carried out by youth marketing agency, Generation Y, through their website Oxygen.ie, who surveyed 1,000 students over a 10 day period.

91% of Students concerned about their future and 80% intend to emigrate

Annie Hoey, USI President

“The results of the survey are shocking.” Annie Hoey, USI President, said. “If the government doesn’t provide the younger generation with sustainable solutions to employment, accommodation and growth we will lose a generation at the forefront of innovation, growth and advancement to emigration. This generation is essential to progression in the fields of medicine, science, tech and finance. Without them, Ireland’s economy – which is currently the fastest growing in Europe – will slow down and subsequent generations will suffer as a result.”

According to the Generation Y survey, 94% of students also said the national housing crisis is impacting them directly while 66% jeopardise their GPA (Grade Point Average) by having to work whilst studying to fund college.

The same survey was also carried out in 2014 by Generation Y, but in two years there has been a 52% increase in the number of young people concerned about their future in Ireland – a jump from 39% to 91%. The most common reasons students considered emigrating include better job opportunities abroad and students not being able to secure a job in their field of study.

USI said the survey information also shows us that there is a direct link between the increase in college fees (which are now €3,000 annually) and the increase in those intending to emigrate – over 80% of those surveyed intend to emigrate for 3 or more years – a drastic increase from results compiled in 2014, which was 39% two years ago.

USI said the accommodation crisis was also a huge factor in students considering emigrating. According to the research by Generation Y, 94% of students believe they are directly affected by the national housing crisis. Only 28% of those surveyed believe they will be in the financial position to purchase their first home between the ages of 35-40 years.

“We need to make Ireland a more attractive place for young people to live, work and stay.” Hoey said. “We are the first generation who will be less well off than our parents. Students are concerned about their future in Ireland and they have a right to be concerned. USI research shows that 95.3% of students think the cost of college is too high; 73.1% of students said the high cost of college causes them anxiety or stress; 72% of students are struggling financially to stay in college; and if fees go up, 63% of students said they won’t be able to attend college. All of these issues, as well as the accommodation crisis, need to be addressed if we want to keep students and talented young people in Ireland.”


USI is the national representative body for the 354,000 students in third level education on the Island of Ireland.  We are a membership organisation – our members are our affiliated Students’ Unions around Ireland, North and South.


Comments are closed.