‘There should be no barriers to cross border study’ – Mellon

Sinn Féin Councillor Aileen Mellon has said there is a need to ensure there are no barriers to cross border study.

Commenting on a report analysing cross-border flows of higher education students published by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) in the south and the Department for the Economy (DfE) in the north, the party’s local education spokesperson said:

“The report showed that the number of students coming from the south to study at institutions in the the north had fallen from 3,520 in 2011/12 to 2,095 students in 2016/17.

“In comparison 2017/18 figures showed that 1,328 students from the north attend University in the south, a modest increase from 950 over the same period.

“The falling number of students from the south crossing the border to study at northern institutions is a concerning trend particularly in the context of Brexit.

“We need to ensure there are no barriers to cross border study for students north and south, including comparable student support regardless of which jurisdiction they are from or studying in.

“There is potential for Brexit to have a negative impact on students choosing to study cross border with the very real possibility of international fees being introduced for students from the north studying in the south and vice versa.

“We have been consistently highlighting this issue in the context of citizens in the north being able to access and exercise their rights as EU citizens, and we will continue to press for this to be addressed in the course of the Brexit negotiations.”