The Irish Universities Association (IUA) welcomes the publication of the HEA’s report “What Do Graduates Do? – The Class of 2016”. This report, which is an analysis of the first destinations of the 2016 class of university graduates, shows clearly the high levels of employability among Irish university graduates.
Following on the trend of the last ten years, throughout the entire economic crisis, university graduates across all fields of study have been shown to be significantly less likely to be unemployed than the general population. This is testament to the quality of Irish university graduates, as well as to the quality of education and research supports provided by academic and other staff across the university sector. This is in the face of the ongoing structural deficits in the funding of Irish universities, leading to one of the worst staff:student ratios in the OECD.
The Irish universities are committed to ensuring a high quality learning experience for their students, helping them develop their knowledge, skills and competences in their chosen fields of study and research, and also across a range of important generic skills which will be crucial in their future professional lives. The ongoing evaluations of academic programmes and departments across all universities, bringing in relevant international expertise and often in collaboration with enterprise partners, ensure that university study programmes remain relevant and internationally competitive.
The universities are also pleased to note the significant increase in graduate numbers gaining employment in Ireland, and who are now contributing significantly to the economic recovery of recent years.
Jim Miley, Director General of IUA said: “This HEA report is a testament to the enduring quality of Irish university graduates, and to the added value which universities bring to the country. It also proves once again the sustainable and rapid returns which investment in Irish higher education brings, both for individuals and the State. This report should encourage the Government in its stated ambition to invest substantial additional funds in Irish universities over the coming years, and to address the underlying structural funding deficit in the higher education sector. This is all the more important, given the known increase in higher level student numbers by 30% between now and 2030, and the positive impacts these future graduates will have on our country”.
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