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Challenges for University model need to be met - Flanagan

9 March, 2016 - by Phil Flanagan

Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has welcomed the publication of the outcome of the ‘Big Conversation’ by the DEL Minister Stephen Farry on the future financial challenges facing the higher education system in the north.

 Mr Flanagan was speaking after the Minister appeared before the Committee for Employment & Learning this morning.

 The Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA said:

 “Sinn Féin will continue to block any hike in tuition fees.

 “Over the course of the last five years, tuition fees have only increased in line with inflation and tuition fees are now £3,925 a year, £5,000 lower than in England.

 “The ongoing cuts imposed by the British government to the Executive’s block grant have had a negative impact on further and higher education.

 “Our universities and colleges need to be put on a sustainable funding model, but this cannot be done through an increase in tuition fees, which is a direct tax on students.

 “The paper published today by the DEL Minister will start a worthwhile conversation on how we meet the financial challenges of our universities and colleges without imposing an unfair financial burden on students.”

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