Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (577)

Rose Conway-Walsh

Question:

577. Deputy Rose Conway-Walsh asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science further to Parliamentary Question No. 589 of 10 February 2021, if by taking the step to support students from Northern Ireland and maintain the number of students accessing Erasmus+ from the island of Ireland while simultaneously losing the capacity of universities in Northern Ireland to host incoming students from across the EU will require higher education institutions in this jurisdiction to host additional Erasmus students from elsewhere in the EU; if this will have financial implication for HEIs; if so, the funding that will be available to ensure HEIs can facilitate this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8634/21]

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Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

The Irish Government has committed to providing continued access to Erasmus + higher education mobilities for students in NI institutions. Officials in my Department have been engaging with the HEA, with representatives from our higher education institutions and with NI institutions to develop operational procedures for the scheme, with further meetings planned between NI and Irish higher education representatives in the near future.

It should be recalled that provision was made in the EU-UK Trade and Customs Agreement which would provide a basis for the UK to participate in the Erasmus Programme. However, the UK Government have opted not to exercise this option.

Incoming EU Erasmus+ students are funded by their sending institution, so this will not have a financial implication for Irish HEIs.