'Augar education review a missed opportunity' - Archibald
Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said the Augar Review of Post 18 Education and Funding is a missed opportunity.
The party's spokesperson for Higher and Further Education said:
"The 'Review of Post-18 Education and Funding' was an opportunity to recognise that education is a right, as well as enabler to prosperity. It is also the foundation of tackling deprivation and social inequality.
"Education, including third level education, should be publicly-funded and invested in.
"While the review focused mainly on England it has implications for the north.
"In recent years, the marketisation of particularly the universities sector has led to a situation which is unsustainable and which leaves young people with high levels of debt.
"The review makes a recommendation in relation to maintenance grants which is welcome but there is a real need to ensure that there are no barriers to participation in education due to their socio-economic background.
"The review also recognises the impact of austerity cuts on further education and the ability of colleges to deliver courses.
"It is clear that we need a third level education system where there is parity between further education and higher education and the two are closely interlinked to meet the needs of both the economy and individuals."