Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Telegraph way off the mark on student fees

Following the decision of the Executive last Thursday to hold tuition fees at existing levels, we were extremely disappointed to read the leading article in your newspaper the following day (Friday, September 9), entitled 'Clumsy fees move exposes Stormont', which was misleading and which jarred with the mood among students, their families, the wider public and university representatives interviewed from Queen's University, Belfast.

The role of the Higher Education sector is crucial to the overall economy with the quality of our university graduates a key attraction for potential inward investors. Both our parties, and others, made manifesto pledges not to increase tuition fees and the electorate endorsed those pledges in the recent Assembly elections. We are at a loss as to why the Belfast Telegraph would seek to unpick such a widely democratically endorsed position.

The article states that this decision "inevitably means a reduction in services and training opportunities for young people and the unemployed". How could you adopt this position without knowing the detail of what Minister Farry announced to the Assembly? You will now know from his statement that the Executive decision will in no way impact upon Further Education services or those services which are specifically targeted towards the unemployed.

In conclusion, this decision demonstrates how the Executive is working for the people; five parties collectively and unanimously reaching a decision.

The Rt Hon Peter D Robinson, MLA First Minister

Martin McGuinness, MP, MLA

Deputy First Minister

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz