Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Education and Skills

Ministerial Communications

Photo of Seán CroweSeán Crowe (Dublin South West, Sinn Fein)
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369. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the contact he has had with his Northern Ireland counterpart during the Covid-19 pandemic; and the specific areas of cooperation they have agreed. [6777/20]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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Since early April, I have been in correspondence with the NI Minister for the Economy Diane Dodds (with responsibility for higher education) on the question on Irish students who plan to pursue their studies with higher education institutions in Northern Ireland.  I have also written to the NI Minister for Education Peter Weir in a similar vein. 

Since then, contacts are maintained regularly at official level.  The Secretary General of my Department has engaged with NI Permanent Secretary in the Department of Education to promote cooperation on Covid 19 responses in education on a North-South basis, including sharing views on key policy decisions such as safe re-opening of schools, schools hygiene and maintaining social distance in education institutions.  Other engagements at official level are continuing with the Department of Education in Northern Ireland and their Department of the Economy, as well as with UCAS, on issues affecting Irish students aiming to study in Northern Ireland next year.

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