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A Levels results traumatic time

16 August, 2007

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson and Assembly Education committee member Paul Butler MLA has expressed his best wishes to all those who are receiving their A level results today.

He said:

"This is a very traumatic time for people getting their A level results. I know that while many people will be delighted that others will also be disappointed. However, whatever the results young people should take their time to look at all of the opportunities that are available.

"I want to commend all of the successful students and their teachers parents on their A' Level achievements. It is crucial however that we encourage as many of these students as possible to stay at home and attend Universities on the Island of Ireland. Universities must ensure that they can offer sufficient Courses be they in Medicine, Law, Sciences or Arts that will stop the brain drain. Evidence also shows that a high percentage of students who leave to study elsewhere do not return and this is a huge loss to the economy.

"I also know that there are many young people that will be looking to go into third level education that will be very concerned about the financial burdens facing students.

"The evidence shows that these financial barriers are stopping people, particularly those from a working class background, from going into third level education and that many others are dropping out before they complete their studies because of financial and work burdens.

"The Student Fee System inevitably leads to a reduction of students from low and middle income families and forces students to choose courses they can afford rather than those they want to study. Education must be free at the point of entry and we need a real budget to support education and learning. We need to recognise that the failure to invest in our young people is a failure to invest in the future." ENDS

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