Most students considering emigration, survey finds

Majority do not smoke or take illicit drugs while just 1% drink stout

The majority of Irish students don’t smoke, don’t take illicit drugs and are actively contemplating emigration. Photograph:  Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

The majority of Irish students don’t smoke, don’t take illicit drugs and are actively contemplating emigration. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Thu, Jul 3, 2014, 14:04

The majority of Irish students don’t smoke, don’t take illicit drugs and are actively contemplating emigration, if the results of a recent student survey are to be believed.

More than three-quarters (76 per cent) of the 4,631 students of students surveyed are either considering emigration, or have already determined it as a preferred course of action following graduation, according to student website Campus.ie.

Some 58 per cent of students surveyed have never sampled any illicit drugs, while the vast majority do not smoke. Of those who have tried illegal drugs, 27 per cent have tried marijuana, 7.5 per cent have taken ecstasy while just three respondents admitted to dabbling in heroin use.

In relation to student finances, almost three-quarters (74 per cent ) of respondents have no student debt while 13 per cent have to contend with debts of over €1,000.

While over 90 per cent say they consume alcohol, surprisingly just 1 per cent of Irish students identified stout as their drink of choice in spite of our national obsession with the black stuff.

While just under 10 per cent of the sample surveyed across every third level institution in the country said they are not sexually active, 75 per cent have never undergone an STI test.

Support for a Yes vote in the same sex marriage referendum set for spring 2015 stands at 89 per cent.

This year’s figures make for favourable reading for students in many categories, with levels of indebtedness and illegal drug use down, and a demonstrable increase in STI testing compared to last year’s statistics compiled by the same website.

Union of Students in Ireland president Laura Harmon said she was surprised by the high numbers considering emigration.

“The numbers for potential emigration seem to be quite high given how the current employment climate and jobs market are going in the country,” she said.

She believes the figure of 38 per cent of respondents who have considered dropping out of their course is reflective of the harsh monetary environment to which Irish students are now exposed.

“Given that rent prices in Dublin are set to increase by an average of 13 per cent for the coming semester, a trend which is being replicated in other urban areas, there’s clearly pressure being put on students who can’t afford the costs of college, and who may also be finding it difficult to get a place to live,” she said.