McLaughlin: Cuts to further and higher education would be devastating

further education higher education Sinéad McLaughlin

SDLP Economy Spokesperson Sinéad McLaughlin has said potential cuts to further and higher education would be devastating.

She was speaking following reports that the sectors could face cuts of up to 20% under modelling undertaken by the Department for the Economy.

Foyle MLA Ms McLaughlin said:

“The potentially devastating cuts proposed by this Department for the Economy modelling are cause for grave concern and will cause huge anxiety for the students who are paying extortionate amounts of money to give themselves a chance in today’s job market, as well as for the staff who have been forced to recently strike for fair pay and pension justice.

“We must stand up for our further and higher education sectors and the contribution they make to Northern Ireland’s economy and society. Far from imposing cuts, these sectors require investment if we are going to expand student numbers, especially in places like Derry where we are crying out for a properly resourced university.

"At a time when thousands of our young people leave our shores every year, cuts will do nothing to reverse this trend and will instead push more young people away to English universities, depriving Northern Ireland of their skills and contributions.

“It is totally inappropriate for these cuts to be imposed from London in the absence of a functioning Assembly here. Our higher and further education sector cannot be another casualty of the Tory austerity that has caused so much harm."


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