Chris Lyttle MLA said: “People dropping out of university damages our economy and is very detrimental to the individual involved, because each incidence represents a university place lost, and person who has felt that they had to leave, often under severe financial pressure.
“Financial problems play a major part in people’s decisions to leave, and this illustrates why massive increases in tuition fees are totally wrong and would be catastrophic for higher education and our economy.
“This is an issue that I have been very concerned about for some time now. As member of the Assembly’s Employment and Learning Committee I have sought improved analysis from the universities as to why people leave, in order to ensure efforts to tackle the problem are as effective as possible. I hope that the universities will be forthcoming with more detailed evaluations as soon as possible.”