Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

University ‘is not just for rich’

Universities in Northern Ireland must not become clubs for the rich because of unfair tuition costs, universities minister Danny Kennedy said yesterday.

English universities plan to charge up to £9,000 a year for tuition from next year with new arrangements for paying the money back when graduates have begun earning.

The proposal was passed |at Westminster and is aimed |at ensuring institutions have |the money to continue high level research and innovation despite a funding cut announced in October.

Students have expressed fears a similar move in Northern Ireland could shut the door to the less well-off who fear a lifetime of debt.

Mr Kennedy told his scrutiny committee at Stormont: “What I want to do is to bring forward in a mature and meaningful way the options that will chart the course for a fair resolution to this, understanding the need to keep universities open, not to make it a rich man's club.”

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