Following the publication of the Stuart Review on tuition fees, Alliance Employment and Learning Spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has expressed concern about the impact a large increase in fees could have on our economy and on people from low-income families.
Chris Lyttle MLA said: “The Alliance Party is opposed to unfair tuition fees that would in any way deter people from going to university. A large increase in fees could limit the skills delivery necessary for a knowledge-based economy in Northern Ireland and deny many people the opportunity to reach their potential.
“Access to higher education should be on the basis of merit not money.
“Families will be concerned what this means for them and the Minister must urgently publish detailed proposals for consultation to allow people to express their view on this important matter.
“The Westminster decision to remove the cap on fees, which was opposed by Naomi Long MP, has put significant pressure on our system to follow suit. The scale of their proposed rise in fees; however, is totally unacceptable and Northern Ireland cannot be allowed to go the same way.
“Northern Ireland has a strong case for greater public investment in higher education than in the rest of the UK as we need to upskill our workforce to create knowledge-based private sector economic growth and attract new jobs for local people.”