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Sinn Féin blocks increase in tuition fees - Flanagan

Published: 31 March, 2016

The Committee for Employment & Learning has rejected a proposal from the DEL Minister Stephen Farry to increase tuition fees by 2.8% to £4,030.

This follows a Sinn Féin proposal to defer the decision until after the Assembly election and the outcome of the Programme for Government negotiations.

Speaking after the matter was discussed at the committee meeting, Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan said:

"At this morning's meeting of the Committee for Employment & Learning, Sinn Féin led opposition to the proposed increase in the cap on tuition fees to over £4,000 for the 17/18 academic year.

"The Programme for Government from 2011-2016 agreed to restrict any increase in tuition fees to the rate of inflation. What Stephen Farry is proposing would not take effect until September 2017 and is outside the parameters of this agreement.

"This decision should be a matter for the next Assembly through its deliberations on a Programme for Government and not dictated by Stephen Farry in one of his last acts as DEL Minister.

"Sinn Féin will continue to use our political mandate to ensure education remains accessible particularly to students from low-income backgrounds." CRÍOCH/ENDS