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Local students could pay a heavy price for hard Brexit

Brexit report
IN THE week when the UK government outlined the stark reality of what a no deal Brexit will mean for many, yet another report has come out highlighting yet more ways leaving the EU will make life harder for those in border areas. 
This time the focus is on students and skills, with a dire warning of the difficulties that may face those applying to college this time next year, such as sky-rocketing tuition fees. 
“Leaving the EU could impact on the ability of college and university students living in border areas  to attend their nearest provider, as it may be across the border,” said the authors of the report ‘The Skills System in Northern Ireland: Challenges and Opportunities.’
The report used the tens of thousands of students  and workers travelling daily between Donegal-Derry as its example, though its findings can equally be applied to Fermanagh where both South West College and Cafre attract significant numbers of cross-border students. 
Possibly even more significant here in the county, it’s not just those students crossing the border every day who will likely be impacted. 
Those hoping to study in the likes of Dublin or Galway this time next year could fined their fees double or even treble, according to the report. 
“The UK leaving the EU could also mean that any student from one jurisdiction wishing to study in the other will be charged the same high tuition fee level that a non-EU student currently pays, which may be twice or three times the current fee level,” the reported stated. 
The report adds it’s not just college courses which will be affected. 
“The European Social Fund is an important source of funding for training programmes,” it explained. “Leaving the EU could put in jeopardy training programmes which depend upon this source of funding.”
Last week Brexit secretary Dominic Raab released around 80 papers and delivered a speech on planning for a no deal Brexit, which many experts believe is now the likely scenario. Once again no clarity was given on what may happen with the border, the papers do confirm customs and quality checks will be needed on all borders. Other implications included increased in credit card charges, possible medicine shortages in the short term, and the possibility those living outside the jurisdiction could lose their UK pensions. 
 

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