Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (381)

Catherine Martin

Question:

381. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to ensure that Irish students domiciled in Northern Ireland will have access to Erasmus programmes here and elsewhere after 2021; if Irish students can study in the UK after 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13721/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Learning mobility within the Erasmus+ programme is determined not by students' domicile, but by the institution in which they are enrolled having an Erasmus University Charter. Possession of this Charter allows institutions to apply for funding to send and receive students and staff to other Charter holders.

Therefore, if the NI student is attending a Higher Education Institution here, with an Erasmus University Charter, they are eligible to avail of learning mobility opportunities in other institutions that similarly hold the Charter.

I would also like to assure the Deputy that Irish students can continue to study in the UK once the UK leaves the EU. In this regard, the Common Travel Area will mitigate many of the Brexit impacts within the Education Sector. This includes not just the SUSI grants, but also maintaining the current EU fee system for Irish students in the UK, but also Northern Irish and UK Students studying in Ireland. Agreement between my Department and the Department for Education in the UK on these principles, as well as wider policy issues at other levels of education has been reached, and discussions are now focussed on framing these within a Memorandum of Understanding. This will protect much of the valuable and rich cooperation that takes place in education on a North-South and an East West basis.