Northern Ireland

Most graduates 'stay away from NI'

Image caption The statistics suggest that male graduates are likely to earn more than female graduates in their first job

Only a third of Northern Irish students who graduated from universities elsewhere in the UK last year returned to Northern Ireland to work.

That is according to figures released by the Department for the Economy (DfE).

In 2015-16, 33.1% of Northern Irish students returned home to work after graduation.

In that year, there were a total of 16,450 local students enrolled at universities elsewhere in the UK.

The majority of those who graduated from them remained in England, Scotland or Wales to work.

By contrast, almost nine in 10 students who studied in Northern Ireland were subsequently employed here.

Highest levels of employment

The DfE figures also show which higher education subjects lead to the highest levels of employment.

Students who study medicine and dentistry, and education, are most likely to find work after graduating.

Those who study physical sciences, maths and subjects related to history and philosophy are least likely to find employment.

However, many students in those areas go on to further study.

The statistics suggest that men are likely to earn more than women graduates on starting their first job.

Six months after leaving university, Northern Irish male graduates had an average salary of £22,425.

That compares to an average of £20,955 for women graduates after the same period.