Thomas Pringle TD

Fine Gael lacks contingency plan for Donegal students studying in Derry post-Brexit – Pringle


Thomas Pringle TD – March 14th, 2019


Independent TD for Donegal Thomas Pringle raised the issue of Donegal students attending courses in Derry post-Brexit.

“I have raised many times before the plight of approximately 2,400 Donegal students who are attending the North West Regional Regional College in Derry city on level 5 QQI equivalency courses, unable to access student support from the State. But what will happen to current and future students from Donegal studying in Derry post-Brexit?

“As Derry is an important educational centre for students coming from Donegal it is important that plans are put in place to ensure minimal disruption to students as well as financial supports to smooth out the transition, whatever it will entail.

“However, when I asked about this in a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Education, Joe McHugh, he failed to reply directly on this issue. That to me speaks volumes and indicated that Fine Gael have no contingency plan in place to facilitate a smooth transition for students studying in Derry post-Brexit.

“We have to consider the fact that there’s already been a drop in numbers of those choosing Derry as a destination to study due to the level of uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Fine Gael is increasing this level of uncertainty by not addressing student concerns. It is unfortunate that some prospective students are deciding not to attend courses in Derry even though it might be offering the most appropriate course for them at the time.

“I would urge Fine Gael to seriously consider the implications for Donegal students ahead of further Brexit chaos and recover the uncertainty they have already created on this issue. I will question the Minister further and hope for a more comprehensive response next time” concludes Pringle.