Leaving cert emigration (paradox)
How many Irish students will leave this year again to pursue their dream careers? Many will, not to enjoy foreign cultures but simply to study the subject of choice, as no places are available at home. Meanwhile Ireland’s favourite Polish medical and vet schools storm Ireland offering lots of places in the safest country in Europe.
This Wednesday Leaving Cert results will be a disappointment for many students going for medicine in Ireland (and their parents). As every year. ‘Around 80 places offered in the country to vet students will drive outbound emigration again’ says Adam Krawczyk from Medical Poland that brings a number of Polish medical schools to recruit in Ireland on 31 August. ‘Polish option will be the last resort for many who may lack a few LC or HPAT points’ he adds.
National research group of Irish medical schools evaluated entry mechanisms to medicine in 2012 and found that ‘unfortunately, there are (…) young people who have achieved excellence in the Leaving Certificate whose disappointment at their inability to secure a medical school place is compounded by the knowledge that they previously might have been successful. The demand for medical school places has and continues to far outweigh the supply (…) This will be the case regardless of the entry and selection determinants employed.’ This dire picture drives leaving cert emigration. This makes ‘Poland with top notch facilities and homely atmosphere’ a great option, says Tom Farrell, Guidance Counsellor for 30 years who has been visiting Polish medical universities since 2016.
‘The paradox is that Irish medical graduates leave to practice in US and Australia and our children go abroad to study to then practice in Ireland’ – says a parent of Ciara – an applicant to 6-year MD programme at Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz. ‘We are glad this option is available to many Irish students in the safest country in Europe and second safest in the world (by OECD), where cost of living are three to four times lower than in Ireland’ – comments Krawczyk.
With almost 56,000 students sitting their Leaving Cert earlier this summer, results day is most likely the biggest day of their lives, to date. This day will affect 1 in 80 people in Ireland, and probably have an impact on most households in the country. ‘Students reach over 720 points (Leaving Cert and HPAT combined) and still cannot realise their dream to become a doctor. Should this prevent them from following their ambition to practice medicine or veterinary? We think not!’ says Artur Banaszkiewicz, Student Advisor at Medical Poland. He represents Nicolaus Copernicus University’s Collegium Medicum (CM) in Bydgoszcz, Poland that runs a 6 year MD program through English. Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy are also on the list.
It is not too late for some, so visiting Dublin Open Day on Thursday, 31 August is an opportunity to evaluate options after the results come out on Wednesday. The event takes place at European Commission Representation in Dublin, 5:30pm. There will be a chance to meet student advisor, talk to students starting their medical journey in Poland this September, academics from Polish universities, Polish Ambassador and Irish Department of Foreign Affairs representative.