Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin supports student opposition to Top Up fees

20 January, 2005

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Employment & Learning Michael Ferguson is supporting the NUS/USI decision to highlight their dismay at the imposition of further Top Up Fees on students in the Six Counties.

Students from NUS/USI will journey from Belfast to Westminster today where the N.I. Grants Committee will be meeting on the introduction of Variable Differed Fees. Students will be quite rightly calling for the decision to be made by the Political Parties here rather than having the decision imposed on us by an Order of Council and supported by 36 MPs tomorrow.

Commenting upon the matter Michael Ferguson said:

"It is outrageous that the Minister Barry Gardiner is seeking to impose upon us a Fee System that his own colleagues in both Wales and Scotland reject. There has been no research carried out the differential impact this decision could have on Section 75 groups here and there is clear evidence from research in America, Australia and Canada that the introduction of the fee system will reduce the number of applicants from low and middle income families and in particular communities that have suffered marginalisation and exclusion. Universities are Learning Places not Market places!" ENDS

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