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Committee votes to block attempt to raise Student Fees

21 November, 2007

Sinn Féin MLA Sue Ramsey, who is the chairperson of the Assembly Employment and Learning Committee, has said that the committee has voted to block or annul the regulations presented by Reg Empey that would have allowed him to increase Students Fees.

Ms Ramsey said:

"Sinn Féin raised objections to this regulation being presented by the Department of Employment and Learning that would have allowed Reg Empey to increase Student Fees.

"The issue was taken to a vote and agreed that there would be a motion to the Assembly seeking to annul these regulations.

"The evidence shows that the introduction of Students Fees has had a significant impact on students studying in our universities, on rising levels of student debt and on the falling numbers of students from disadvantaged backgrounds taking third level studies.

"All parties opposed the introduction of Student Fees and in my view it would be wrong to agree any increase whatever the reason.

"It was a mistake for Reg Empey to seek to increase the level of Student Fees in the first place and I hope that we can get all party support for this motion when it is debated in the Assembly." ENDS

Note to Editors

The Committee for Employment and Learning has considered the Student Fees (Amounts) (Amendments) Regulations (NI) 2007 and recommends that it be annulled by the Assembly

[Chairperson of the Committee for Employment and Learning]

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