Co-operation on education discussed at Good Friday Agreement committee
Good Friday Agreement Implementation Committee at the Oireachtas today discussed all-Ireland co-operation with Stephen Farry MLA, minister for education and learning in the Northern Executive.
Speaking at the meeting Martin Ferris TD said:
“The current economic crisis impacts on communities across the island. Job losses and emigration neither recognise nor respect, the border. If we are to grow out of recession in a sustainable way we need to invest in education and innovation.
Ireland is too small for two separate and disjointed third level education systems. We have a mobile labour market. We have an all-Ireland economy. We need a truly national plan to shape provision, make the best use of resources and to develop national centres of excellence in research.
Speaking after the meeting, Pat Doherty MP for West Tyrone said:
“The disjoint between the systems north and south, undermines institutions and disadvantages students and communities along the border. We have students taking differing exams, completing two sets of applications and being assessed under different criteria for institutions that are only a couple of miles apart.
There is an urgent need to address the need for full recognition of qualifications, the harmonisation of the application processes and the development of plan to share courses along the border. This will deliver the best for communities, for students and for third level education providers. The development of this co-operation should be driven by the departments and form part of the work of the North South Ministerial Council.”