COLLEGE graduates who emigrate from Ireland are likely to return after getting experience from working abroad, new research suggests.
A survey of Irish college graduates who emigrated to the UK and Australia found they are increasingly likely to see emigration as a means to an end and not a final destination.
The study, by Trinity College professor and dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences James Wickham, found that Irish emigres to the UK and Australia often return home for visits.
They see emigration as a means to further their careers or personal development, but not "necessarily as an end point".
The study focused on 37 recent college graduates aged between 22 and 37 who had moved abroad.
Many of the graduates had previously lived abroad as students, and "mobility as an undergraduate student contributed to an inclination towards mobility after graduation", the study found.
It will provide hope for tens of thousands of families who have seen their loved-ones travel abroad in search of work, that the move may not be permanent.
Prof Wickham said: "Migration is still normally understood as the permanent move from one country to another in order to work and settle. However, our research examining the strategies and experiences of recent Irish graduate emigrants with those of high-skilled Polish migrants highlights new patterns of migration among young Europeans.
"Present-day migrants are no longer solely motivated by employment opportunities but rather seek out personal development and improved quality of life.
"They are highly mobile, often engaging in circular or serial migration and open to further mobility."
The research 'Learning from Poland. First Reflections' found that the majority of the 22 Polish emigrants studied, who moved to Ireland during the boom, did not leave when the economy nose-dived.
Of the group, 13 of the 22 are still here, with four moving elsewhere and the remainder having returned to Poland.