Alliance Youth backs NUS-USI day of action on fees

Alliance Youth today voiced unequivocal support the Day of Action against tuition fees organised by NUS-USI, Northern Ireland’s student organisation. Alliance Party representatives will be in attendance at events organised at the University of Ulster campuses across Northern Ireland to highlight the impact of variable tuition fees and the proposed increase in fees planned for next

Alliance Youth Chair Stephen Martin commented: “NUS-USI should be congratulated on its efforts to highlight the negative impact of variable tuition fees on students. In such difficult economic times, future graduate students may find it difficult to gain meaningful employment as Northern Ireland’s economy struggles to cope with the harsh realities of the global credit crunch. We are all feeling it but it will be the new entrants to the job market that may end up being the worst affected. Many students are facing the very real prospect of having worked hard during their school and university years supported by parents only to find there is no job for them at the end of it all and burdened with huge debts that will take years to pay back. Is that the start in life that we want for our young people?”

QUB Alliance Chair Mark Baillie remarked, “Student fees add considerable financial burden onto students in an area which has been recognised to be one of the most expensive places to live as a student in the UK. Fees undoubtedly put people from low income backgrounds off going to university. This destroys the concept of equality of opportunity. Surely it is time to look again at the system of student finance here in Northern Ireland to make sure that students do not lose out in the long term.”

University of Ulster Chair Rory Kelly concluded: “More needs to be done by the Stormont Executive to give students a helping hand. Our young people are this country’s future. Given Northern Ireland’s troubled past, the best thing we can do is hand the next generation all the tools we can to help them progress themselves and our society.”


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