Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Karen Mullan has said any Brexit outcome that does not maintain the benefits of EU membership will be damaging for the education and research sectors.
She said “The benefits of EU membership cannot be underestimated and any outcome to Brexit which does not maintain the benefits of EU membership will be damaging, particularly to the education and research sectors.
“Loss of vital EU funding, not just research funding, but also the structural funds which have been an enabler for research and innovation will have a detrimental impact.
“Researchers are already being impacted by the Brexit uncertainty in terms of accessing collaborative programmes and also for EU researchers considering their future.
“Mobility of staff and students and potential immigration requirements and access to the Erasmus plus programme are issues of concern.
“Another key concern centres on the rights of Irish citizens residing in the north and the potential for northern students to be treated as international students to attend universities in EU states including south of the border.
“Many students north and the south cross the border to attend further education colleges and universities, any barriers to this would be damaging to institutions and limit the opportunities of students on both sides of the border.
“Sinn Féin will continue to highlight all these issues and keep the rights of citizens here centre stage in the Brexit process