The MLA for east Belfast said the news was a positive step forward in creating home grown talent, securing the future economic growth of Northern Ireland.
Chris Lyttle MLA said: “This is fantastic news which will benefit the next generation of industry leaders in Northern Ireland. It is even more welcome to hear these places will go to STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths – postgraduate courses.
“STEM subjects are extremely important to Northern Ireland’s future economic growth and it is vital we continue to encourage study in these areas. Not only are STEM subjects important to the research and development sector, but also for our construction sector which has been badly hit over the past few years.
“My Alliance colleague Minister Farry has always worked hard to achieve his end goal of increasing and improving higher education in Northern Ireland. I welcome the DEL Department working closely with our two Universities to widen access to higher education in these specialised subject areas.
“These newly funded postgraduate places will ensure we continue to create home grown industry leaders, rather than watching as future talent travels outside of Northern Ireland for training, never to return.”