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Ireland extends ‘stay back option’ for postgraduates

In a move that will undoubtedly shore up Ireland’s positioning in the international education market and make the country more attractive to overseas students, the Irish government has agreed to allow international postgraduates to stay two years after finishing their degree.

IrelandThe move has been anticipated since the launch of the International Education Strategy last year which, set a 15% target for international students at tertiary institutions like Trinity College Dublin. Photo: M. King.

The move has been anticipated since the launch of the International Education Strategy last year

The policy extends the Third Level Graduate Scheme for non-EU/EEA residents studying in the country to remain in Ireland to seek employment and apply for a Green Card or Work Permit after two years.

The new extension means that the ‘stay back option’ for students at level 9 or 10 of the Irish National Framework of Qualifications has now doubled from 12 to 24 months. Specifically, this will apply to those studying for a master’s degree, postgraduate diploma, doctoral degree or higher doctorate.

“It will reinforce Ireland in the minds of international students as a welcoming destination”

In a statement on the Education in Ireland website, the government said the move will “allow eligible graduates who have studied in Irish higher education institutions and whose award is granted by a recognised Irish awarding body at master’s or PhD level to remain in Ireland for two years to seek employment.”

The move has been anticipated since the launch of the International Education Strategy last year which, among other goals, promised to boost the revenue from international education from €1.5bn to €2.1bn by 2020 and set a 15% target for international students at tertiary level as well as a goal of 25% growth for ELT enrolments.

Some industry stakeholders were cautious in their response to the news, wanting to see more detail.

However, Sinéad Ryan, director of internationalisation at the office of the vice-president for global relations and Trinity College Dublin said: “We very much welcome this announcement, which follows on the commitment in the Government’s new international education strategy published last October.

It will reinforce Ireland in the minds of international students as a welcoming destination for world-class education, research and career opportunities.”

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3 Responses to Ireland extends ‘stay back option’ for postgraduates

  1. This is a very hospitable invitation for prospective students /academics all over the world. While the United States is getting tighter with their immigration and homeland security, the Irish government makes the policy to welcome global talents and withhold them for a longer period. It would be even better if the Irish government in cooperation with academics/ professionals would actively offer a scholarship grant offer before such potential talents/ professionals pick another country to seek for their education and/or employment. It would be an excellent offer or even extremely bold when the candidate is screened based on their LinkedIn profile. Deep consideration and careful implement of such strategy in the long term could make Ireland the future center of gravity for innovation in the European continent.

  2. Hope companies open the door for International students to work, at least to get some work experience after college. I can’t even apply for graduate programmes or even 12 months contract internship. Companies and HR agencies require STAMP 4! They completely ignore International graduate students without it. GradIreland fair I don’t go anymore waste of time trying to convince employeer that I am entitle to work under the third level graduate visa. What is the purpose of studying years if we can’t have the chance to get work experience?!

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