In an effort to attract more international students to its shores, the Irish government has announced that it is extending the amount of time foreign postgraduates shall be allowed to remain in the country after graduating.
According to a statement on the Education in Ireland website, the government has agreed to extend the Third Level Graduate Scheme for non-EU/EEA students from 12 months to 24 months.
“This will allow eligible graduates who have studied in Irish higher education institutions and whose award is granted by a recognised Irish awarding body at Masters or PhD level to remain in Ireland for two years to seek employment,” it said.
Ireland extends 'stay back option' for postgraduates https://t.co/g2wYqZurWJ
— Education in Ireland (@EduIreland) February 2, 2017
Under the scheme, postgraduate students can find work and apply for a Green Card or Work Permit after two years.
The decision comes as part of the Irish government’s new strategy to boost the country’s international education sector.
The Irish Educated, Globally Connected strategy, unveiled last year, aims to increase Ireland’s current revenue from international education from €1.58 billion per annum to €2.1 billion per annum by 2020.
It also targets a 25 percent growth of ELT (English Language Teaching) enrollments and to have international students comprise 15 percent of the student body at its universities.
— Bryan Maguire (@DrBryanMaguire) January 26, 2017
In response to the move, Sinéad Ryan, director of internationalisation at the Office of the Vice-President for Global Relations at Trinity College Dublin told the PIE News: “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.”