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Worries over rise in costs of accommodation for University students staying in Belfast

13 August, 2007

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has warned that the recent Ulster Bank study finding that it has become more expensive for students living in Belfast since last year will affect many students from the Derry area who study in Belfast.

Mr McCartney said

"In the next few weeks hundreds of students in the North West will be receiving their A Level results and making plans for what university they hope to attend and what accommodation they need for the duration of their studies. Many of those students will be looking for accommodation in the greater Belfast area.

"A recent Ulster Bank study has found that it has become more expensive for students living in the greater Belfast area since last year with the rise in value of properties being reflected in rising rent and associated accommodation costs. This will cause an extra worry for many families particularly those from low incomes as they make plans for the next financial year for their son or daughter hoping to attend university.

"We can't have a two tier education system and students from low income families being disenfranchised from taking up university courses, because they can't afford accommodation costs. There must also be an acknowledgement that an increasing number of students are now in debt with government student loans, bank overdrafts, credit cards and personal loans." ENDS

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