Student leaders appeal for politicians to focus on building a stable future

President of NUS-USI, Fergal McFerran

STUDENT leaders across Ireland and the UK have urged politicians to build a stable and hopeful future for young people.

The north's NUS-USI Fergal McFerran, the UK's NUS Malia Bouattia and the Republic's USI Annie Hoey met to discuss concerns over the political situation.

Following their meeting in Dublin, the three presidents issued a joint statement appealing to election candidates to listen to students' hopes and aspirations.

They said the student movements of Ireland and Britain united in Northern Ireland 45 years ago to provide representation and responsible leadership irrespective of their religion, politics or allegiance.

Their vision of diverse people, united for their common good, they said, was as strong and bright today as it was then.

"Our unique bond across borders and spanning the Irish Sea is proof that differences and unity of purpose can co-exist - and so we have hope for a better future," the three said.

"Parties must focus on the need to deliver a stable, transparent and accountable government that delivers hope and opportunity for all. This election must not be allowed to descend into negativity and recrimination.

"Students are voters. They need to see politicians demonstrate that investment in higher and further education is one of their key priorities. This is essential to show students and young people that they can have a bright future in Northern Ireland, with the educational opportunities they need being provided and well resourced."

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