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Cross-Border Students must be protected after Brexit – Nolan

28 June, 2016

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Carol Nolan TD has today called for clarity for cross-border students in light of the recent Brexit vote.

Deputy Nolan said:

“A recent joint report on student mobility by the relevant Departments both North and South show clearly that there is significant student cross border mobility at present.

“1,745 full-time undergraduate applicants in 2013/14 to Higher Education Institutions in the North were from the south, while 1,375 of the student applicants to Higher Education Institutions in the South were from the North.

“Brexit could have a serious impact for students from the north and Britain, who could be charged higher fees to attend third level in this jurisdiction.

“The treatment of students from the north as ‘international students’ for the purposes of third level fees would be unacceptable and is yet another clear reason for a border poll to be carried out as soon as is practicable.

“It is clear that Brexit has the potential to have a huge impact on the higher education sector in Ireland, north and south.

“For example, under the Horizon 2020 Strategy, a total of €89.2 million was raised by north-south research collaborations across 89 separate projects.

“Around 40% of the 1,100 Irish students who take up traineeships during their degree go to either the north or Britain for their traineeships and placements.

 “While I am aware that any changes may be a number of years down the line, it is clear that the ongoing uncertainty will cause significant anxiety for parents, students and staff alike.

“I am calling on the Minister for Education Richard Bruton to outline the steps he intends to take to ensure that students north and south are protected in so far as possible.” 

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