Clarity needed for students who travel between Donegal and Northern Ireland to study

Senator Annie Hoey image
25 September 2020

Clarity is needed for students who travel from Donegal to study in further education institutes in Derry or in other parts of Northern Ireland, according to Labour Spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Senator Annie Hoey.

Senator Hoey said:

“Many students travel everyday between Donegal and parts of Northern Ireland to study in Further and Higher Education institutes and they have been left in limbo with no clear advice as to whether they are permitted or even legally allowed to travel across the border to study.

“With a border county now having been moved to Level 3 on the Living with Covid framework, clarity is needed as to regulations around this and as to what these students can and cannot do. This is a situation that will arise again if other border counties change restriction levels We must always be cognisant of the principles of being able to move between the two jurisdictions.

“Students need to know what their rights are, whether they can or cannot travel. While the Higher and Further Education Minister does not have jurisdiction over Higher and Further Education Institutes in Northern Ireland, he needs to engage with his Northern counterpart to come up with coherent guidelines for students in this situation.

“I understand that the acting CMO Dr Ronan Glynn is meeting his Northern counterpart this afternoon and this issue must form part of their discussions and be brought back to NPHET for consideration by them.

“We heard already of a student studying in Derry from Donegal and there are many other students in that situation, and they need clarity as to whether they can or cannot travel.

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