SDLP Higher Education Spokesperson Sinéad McLaughlin has welcomed funding from the Irish Government to support young people from the North studying in Europe.
The Foyle MLA said:
“Following the Brexit referendum there was serious concern about the impact leaving the European Union would have on students in the North wishing to take part in Erasmus+ studies in Europe. Young people here have been afforded amazing opportunities to work, study and live abroad for many decades and it was unthinkable that would be robbed away from them.
“The Irish Government’s decision to step up and provide this funding will open a wealth of opportunities for a new generation of young people across the North. The experience of studying and living abroad brings huge benefits to young people and helps them develop new skills, build new connections with peers from across Europe all while growing their intercultural understanding and awareness. The SDLP repeatedly pressed the Department for the Economy to engage on this issue and found the previous Minister’s hands-off approach to be deeply disappointing.
“In stark contrast to a Tory government ripping millions of pounds of funding away from our higher and further education institutions through their punitive budget, the Irish Government is choosing to invest in our young people. This is the latest example of the government in the South supporting education in the North and creating opportunities for those who face losing out.
“This announcement shows what can be achieved when we work together to deliver on the issues that really matter. This approach is going to be key as we work to build a New Ireland that delivers a better future for everyone across our island.”