Chris Lyttle MLA said: “The decision to have different level of fees than the rest of the United Kingdom shows devolution in action. There are a number of issues where the Northern Ireland Executive have gone down a different route than Westminster and this is what devolution is all about.
“With higher fees in England and Wales, the inflow of students from across the Irish Sea would have an impact on access to our Universities for our students. It would hardest hit those from disadvantaged backgrounds as our Universities would have to increase entry requirements to meet the growing demand for places.
“The Executive also decided to increase the number of places at our Universities, but this would be at risk if measures were not put in place to allow those living in Northern Ireland to avail of these extra places. We must ensure that students who come to study in Northern Ireland only come for the quality of our Universities and not based on cost of studying.”