Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (645)

Neale Richmond

Question:

645. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science if students from Northern Ireland will be in a position to avail of the Erasmus programme post-Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37880/20]

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Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

My Department has been very conscious of the impact of the UK withdrawal from the EU on the education sector and and has been preparing for the impact for some time.

The final outcome of the EU-UK negotiations will determine whether the UK will continue to have access to the Erasmus+ programme beyond the current period. I certainly hope that an agreement on this aspect can be found as it would be of benefit to both the EU and the UK's citizens.

However, the Government has decided that arrangements to ensure that students in Northern Ireland higher education institutions should have continued access to the Erasmus programme need to be put in place. This is part of our commitment to ensuring that the rights of Irish citizens in Northern Ireland to access EU entitlements can be protected to the gresatest extent possible after Brexit.

My officials are working on the details of this arrangement in case it should be needed.