Flanagan welcomes consultation on postgraduate student finances
Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has welcomed the launch of a consultation by Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry on part-time and postgraduate student finance arrangements.
The Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA said:
"I welcome the launch of this consultation around part-time and postgraduate student finance arrangements.
"NUS-USI and students’ unions have been lobbying for such a scheme since 2012. In the existing system only those who are fortunate enough to have thousands of pounds available upfront can go onto postgraduate study.
"As someone who is currently undertaking a postgraduate degree, I am fully aware of the funding constraints placed on prospective students.
"One of the major problems with the current funding options is that repayments are expected immediately and not once the earnings of the student cross a reasonable threshold as is the case with undergraduate loans. This proposal would mirror that scheme.
"I would encourage everyone to take part in this consultation and engage with the Department or the DEL Committee during this period. The consultation period will run for approximately 14 weeks until 11 September 2015 and can be viewed atwww.delni.gov.uk/part-time-and-post-graduate-student-finance.”