Support Campaign for Monthly Student Payments – Phil Flanagan MLA
Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has welcomed an indication from Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry during Stormont Question Time that he will consider moving to a monthly payment system for student loan and support payments in a forthcoming public consultation on higher education funding.
Mr Flanagan said;
“On previous occasions when I raised this issue with Stephen Farry he was dismissive of the proposal to make student support payments monthly.
“These payments are currently paid in three instalments over the academic year, in October, January and after Easter. This makes it very difficult for students to budget and causes great financial distress to many people. No other section of our society would be expected to budget in such a way.
“The Scottish government has moved away from this policy to what I believe is a much more progressive and student-friendly approach of paying students in ten-monthly instalments.
“I am glad that he has listened to the call from students for such a change, particularly at the recent NUS-USI conference, where the issue was raised with him by student leaders.
“Stephen Farry has indicated that he may consider monthly payments in a future public consultation however he has not committed to making the change.
“This campaign for change must continue and I encourage people to sign the petition calling for the introduction of monthly payments, which can be found at https://www.causes.com/campaigns/90827-change-the-way-students-receive-their-support-payments."