NUS-USI President Robert Murtagh, said:
“As the UK leaves the EU today, NUS-USI remains committed to making sure that the rights of current and future students in Northern Ireland are protected.
“Northern Ireland did not vote for Brexit, and neither did young people. We have been reassured that there will be no hard border on the island of Ireland, but it remains to be seen how the results of the withdrawal deal will really affect the people of Northern Ireland.
“It is vital that the voices of students are heard throughout the Brexit negotiations. We will be working with both the UK and Irish government to secure the continued access to the Erasmus+ programme for students which offers fantastic opportunities to young people in further and higher education.
“The UK government must uphold its commitment to matching current levels of funding provided by EU Structural Funds. Northern Ireland’s apprenticeship programmes benefit hugely from this funding and at a time when we are seeking to improve the skills of our workforce, it would be devastating to lose this investment.
“Most importantly it is essential that we protect the rights of all citizens under the Good Friday Agreement, and secure the peace process. Young people in Northern Ireland deserve a peaceful and prosperous future. We cannot allow the process of leaving the EU to endanger that.”