Students ‘talk back’ in the City of Culture

Around 30 young people gathered at North West Regional College (NWRC) on Friday, 7 June 2013 for a “Talks Back” style panel discussion on a range of issues affecting the North-West.

The event was one of a number of events that the Northern Ireland Assembly Education Service is organising and hosting to encourage young people to get involved in the democratic and political process and help them understand the role of MLAs.

The event was hosted in conjunction with the Peace and Reconciliation Group, and it was particularly appropriate that it was in Derry~Londonderry as it celebrates its year as the City of Culture. The panel, chaired by journalist Paul McFadden, consisted of MLAs, representatives from the PSNI, the Culture Company and NWRC Students’ Union.

The students quizzed the panel on the issues that matter to them including: life in the North-West; the City of Culture year; politics; policing; the economy; job prospects; community relations and sectarianism. The young people talked openly and frankly with MLAs and other panel members about their challenges and opportunities as they leave education and begin to look for employment. The day wasn’t just all talk; students and panel members alike were treated to a special drama performance by the College’s talented drama students.

More information about the work of the Northern Ireland Assembly Education Service can be found at

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