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Don't make third-level education only for rich

Siptu is absolutely opposed to the lifting of the cap on university tuition fees proposed through the Browne review which could see fees soar to an extortionate rate of up to £12,000 per year.

It beggars belief that these proposals be put forward at any time, never mind in the depths of one of the harshest economic recessions. The Browne review or any other proposed hike in student or tuition fees cannot be allowed to happen. This will only result in preventing thousands of young people from low to middle income earning families from going to university and in thousands more emigrating with little to no prospects here.

In short, it will create a two-tier third level education system where only those that can afford it can avail of it.

Is this the type of society we want to build?

SIPTU believes in a knowledge economy and in building a skilled workforce with our young people being encouraged and assisted in excelling in their chosen career.

Our short-term investment in them will ensure a brighter long-term future for all of us.

To do otherwise, to make third-level education the preserve of the rich will set us back a hundred years and signal the death knell of our economy.

Martin O'Rourke

SIPTU, Belfast