Chris Lyttle MLA said: “If we are to be able to consider this departmental budget in any meaningful way we need greater clarity from the Minister; not least on its implication for higher education and student finance.
“We need much more detail about what he is actually proposing and what this could mean for students and the support they receive. We also need more information on the ramifications for apprenticeships, further education and universities as they aim to play a key role in driving our economy.
“This is a holding statement and we now need delivery of all other outstanding departmental budgets in order to properly assess how the wider budget can be made fit for purpose. The people of this region require and deserve decisive leadership at this challenging time.”