AS THE latest crop of University of Limerick graduates embark on the challenges of the professional world, they are armed with knowledge that UL graduate employment figures are increasing, according to UL President, Professor Don Barry.
He said that UL graduates employability remains consistently high as they are 15 per cent more likely to be employed after graduation than graduates of any other Irish university.
As UL commences four days of conferring ceremonies which will see 2,636 students graduate, including 44 PhD graduates, Professor Barry highlighted the continued demand for UL graduates by employers.
“Traditionally UL’s Graduate Employment figures trend well above the national average. Despite the challenging environment, UL’s graduate employment rate for 2012 figure for primary degree-holders is now 15 per cent higher than the HEA’s most recently-available national average figure which is 48 per cent for 2011.”
A survey of UL’s 2012 graduates showed 85 per cent are either employed or pursuing further study.
“Our doctorate students are also very much in demand, with 81 per cent of last year’s PhD graduates currently in employment.
“Our graduate employment figures are increasing as a reflection of our continually evolving programmes that offer our talented students the kind of educational and research experiences that will best prepare them for their careers. Additionally, the growing number of employers actively recruiting UL graduates through our careers fair is testament to the high esteem in which our graduates are held.
Professor Barry added that “UL graduates have shown themselves to be ready for the workplace, highly-skilled and more employable than their peers from other Irish universities.”
He said it was encouraging to see that over the next week no less than 44 doctorates will be conferred on UL graduates in recognition of their advanced research.
“It is essential that we continue to exceed international benchmarks in the delivery of high quality, relevant research that will support Irish innovators and continue to attract foreign direct investment. More innovation and discovery and an improved response to commercial and industrial needs will mean more employment opportunities for our graduates and increased growth in Ireland’s Knowledge Economy.”
Former Chief Justice John Murray, who is Chancellor at the University of Limerick, said that the new graduates have much to be positive about despite these challenging times.
“We face an adverse economic and fiscal environment but it will not last, we are on the path, a difficult one, to recovery. Even then there are also many good stories and opportunities in the economy today, too often obscured by clouds of negativity on which some are over-focused. There are real prospects for the self-reliant who persevere. Be optimistic and focus on the positive”, he told the graduates.