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Economy Minister must enable students to work and study in Europe – Archibald

29 March, 2021 - by Caoimhe Archibald

Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said the Minister for the Economy must work with the Irish government to give northern students and academic staff the opportunity to continue to work and study across Europe following Brexit.   

The party’s economy spokesperson was speaking after receiving answers from her department showing the minister had not engaged with the Irish government on the Erasmus+ study programme.

The East Derry MLA said:

"It is clear the minister and her department have not worked proactively at all with the Irish government on its offer to enable northern citizens to tale part on the Erasmus+ student and staff study exchange programme. 

"This is a disgraceful and indefensible snub to the Irish government, considering the opportunities this offers to our third level students. 

"The people of the north voted to reject Brexit but young people did so overwhelmingly.

“They are rightly horrified at the potential loss of Erasmus+ which has provided invaluable opportunities to thousands of students and also staff in the North to work and study across Europe.

"We have also been told that no work has been done by the Department on possible alternatives to the Erasmus+ programme. 

"The British government’s Turing Scheme is totally inadequate compared to Erasmus+, and we should be working on better alternatives. 

"It is clear that following our forced exit from Erasmus+, Minister Dodds is content to blindly follow the British government's lead, and can't see beyond their inferior Turing programme." 

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