Statement from the leaders of the student movements in Northern Ireland, Ireland and Great Britain.
The leaders of the student movement from Great Britain, Ireland and Northern Ireland met today in Belfast to discuss shared concerns in relation to the UK government’s proposed exit from the European Union.
Fergal McFerran and Olivia Potter-Hughes (President and President-elect of NUS-USI, the student movement in Northern Ireland), Shakira Martin (NUS UK President-elect) and Annie Hoey and Michael Kerrigan (President and President-elect of the Union of Students in Ireland) today agreed common areas of concern about the impact leaving the European Union could have on students in Northern Ireland, Ireland and Great Britain.
As leaders of the student movement across these Islands they agreed to renew their already longstanding tradition of partnership to work together to protect the rights of students in Northern Ireland, Ireland and Great Britain.
We agreed that we must protect students and apprentices:
- From any detrimental implications of a potential hard border on the mobility of students across the Island of Ireland and the need to defend and retain the common travel area.
- By ensuring their access to the University or College of their choice is not hindered by any potential change to student fees or finance as a result of Brexit.
- By maintaining access to EU funding and participation in EU teaching, learning, travel and research programmes to bolster the higher and further education sector in Northern Ireland.
- From any undermining of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement that could allow the ‘watering down’ of Human Rights, Worker’s Right or Equality legislation.
- Who are EU nationals already residing in Northern Ireland and Great Britain by giving certainty in relation to their, ‘right to remain’.
The three unions will continue to work closely in the months ahead to protect the rights of students throughout any Brexit process.
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