Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Paying more for tuition: where the local parties stand



SINN FEIN

Sue Ramsey said: “We are opposed to student fees. I am calling for the Education and Learning Minister to rule out any increase in tuition fees following the announcement of the draft budget. Education must be based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay.”|

DUP

Jonathan Bell, DEL vice-chairman, said: “We are opposed to tuition fee hikes. DUP MPs voted against the Government proposal to raise the cap on fees to £9,000. We believe that the prospect of leaving university owing almost £30,000 will deter many people from pursuing further education. |

SDLP

Pat Ramsey said: “There is absolutely no appetite in Northern Ireland for an increase in fees. The minister should take heed of the public fury on this matter and the needs of people, particularly those from poorer backgrounds. Minister Kennedy should explore every angle in an attempt to subsidise fees.”|UUP

David McClarty said: “Joanne Stuart’s original report stated she would have to review her recommendations on tuition fees in Northern Ireland in light of the Browne Report. It would be wrong to come to any conclusions before considering both the draft budget and Joanne Stuart's final report. It would be in nobody’s interests if we allow the high standards of our universities to fall. Equally, it would be unacceptable to place barriers in the path of students, especially those from more deprived backgrounds.”

ALLIANCE

Chris Lyttle said: “We believe that access to university should be based on the ability to benefit rather than pay. We need a well-educated population to develop a modern economy, and attract the investment and jobs required to grow our way out of recession.”

Get involved: Answer our Tuition Fees Poll or leave a comment on our website . contact the Department for Employment and Learning via del@nics.gov.uk; or speak to your MLA.

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