Retaining and regaining talent

Retaining and regaining talent

 This paper provides an overview of the key factors associated with the educational migration of students from Northern Ireland to Great Britain (GB).  Northern Ireland has been an exporter for higher education (HE) for decades and consistently sees more students leave than attracted to study.  However, there is limited research to understand the motivating factors involved in migration and there is an absence of policy response from the Northern Ireland Executive.

There are multiple reasons for educational migration, although there has been limited research in this area.  Student recruitment in Northern Ireland is limited by the Maximum Student Numbers (MaSN) policy. Despite Northern Ireland having one of the highest higher education (HE) participation rates in the UK, the annual cap on students attendance has remained at between 24,000–25,000 places per year for nearly a decade.

The Executive have acknowledged longstanding funding deficits in HE but have failed to take action to increase public or private investment to address the problem.  Retaining and regaining students is crucial for economic growth and should be central to skills strategies to help address the low levels of productivity and human capital in Northern Ireland. 

Our future research will explore the evidence gap to contribute local data about the motivating factors associated with educational migration. 

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