The Deputy Chair of Stormont’s Economy Committee said that this is part of a pattern of detachment from the interests and needs of students that must be addressed immediately.
Said the Foyle MLA: “I was shocked to discover that Diane Dodds has had no engagement with the Irish Government on the future of the Erasmus programmes after Ministers in the South made the decision to step in and save the schemes for students in Northern Ireland.
“In response to my questions in the Assembly, Diane Dodds dismissed any notion that her Department, which has responsibility for higher education, would be engaged with efforts to maintain opportunities for university students.
“Instead she said that it is ‘a matter for the Irish Government’. I find that absolutely incredible.
“This is becoming a worrying pattern of neglect for, and detachment from, the interest and needs of students.
“Thousands of students and their parents have signed a petition supporting the SDLP proposal for a dedicated support payment to help them get through the Covid-19 crisis.
“Hundreds have relayed their shocking experiences of loneliness, depression and poverty with us over the last number of weeks.
“What will it take to get the Economy Minister to do her job and deliver for these young people and mature students?”Tags: