Sinn Féin spokespersons on Further and Higher Education, Rose Conway-Walsh and John O’Dowd MLA, have launched a survey to look at how we can remove barriers and increase cross-border enrolment in third-level education.
Teachta Conway-Walsh said:
“We are launching a survey to explore why so few students cross the border for third level education and get student views on how we can improve cross-border enrolment.
“Sinn Féin believes in an all-Ireland approach to education that is based on accessibility and inclusion and is free from borders and barriers.
“Despite living on a small island, it is clear that partition has had a huge bearing on where students choose to study – limiting student opportunities.
“Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, cross-border enrolment on this island has remained low.
“Overall student mobility has declined in the last 10 years by 18 percent.
“In the North, from 2016 until 2019 enrolments from the South accounted for around 4% of the total student population. Enrolments at Further Education Colleges are even lower.
“When we look at colleges in the South, students from the North make up less than 1 percent of the student population. This is despite a lack of third-level capacity in the North.
“Going to University in Belfast should be the same as going to College in Cork.
“Differences in admissions, funding and a general lack of collaboration and information between government institutions has limited student opportunities.
“Detailed analysis is required to examine all barriers that block cross border student movement.
“Until the border is removed, we must do all we can to minimise its ability to divide and separate us.”
Survey Link – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/X2HVH6D