The NUS-USI have cautiously welcomed today’s announcement that the current funding arrangement for Northern Ireland domiciled students wishing to study in the Republic of Ireland will undergo a transformation ahead of 2013/2014.
Adrianne Peltz, NUS-USI President, states:
“Ensuring that students in Northern Ireland get the best deal possible regardless of where they study must be at the forefront of any decision making within the Executive.
“Too few students from Northern Ireland are able to take up the enviable opportunity to study in the Republic of Ireland. Only 2% of Northern Irish students go to universities in the Republic of Ireland and only a small proportion are from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“This is a first step in redressing the imbalance in support funds that students wishing to study in the Republic have long had to suffer. Having access to proper financial support has been a high cost luxury for those who choose to study across the border, with many students turning to expensive commercial lending and in some situations resorting to unscrupulous, high interest lenders to meet their rising living costs.
“Any savings from this scheme must be directed into creating a targeted approach that will increase student mobility and offer more opportunities for our students to take advantage of this excellent cross border initiative.”