Northern Ireland approach to Tuition Fees

From the BBC Danny Kennedy is considering his options:

He added: “As I have said in the Assembly, I want a ‘made in Northern Ireland’ approach to student fees. What is done in London and Cardiff undoubtedly holds lessons for us, but the point of devolution is to devise local solutions.”

Interestingly he highlights the brain drain effect:

However, Mr Kennedy said the situation in Wales differs from Northern Ireland in the sense that it “imports” a lot of students, while Northern Ireland is an “exporter”.

Today’s Belfast Telegraph has an editorial:

Northern Ireland’s devolved administration should, at least, follow the lead of Wales. Local politicians have an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of young people by making third level education affordable to all. That is an investment in the future and should be grasped with both hands.
One of the big challenges facing the Executive in the coming years is reshaping, or rebalancing, the economy, encouraging entrepreneurs, attracting inward investment and ending the over-dependence on the public sector.
To stand any chance of achieving those aims, its needs a young, skilled, well-educated workforce and it needs to encourage young people to stay in Northern Ireland to begin their careers.

I’m not sure the Welsh example will encourage young people to stay in Northern Ireland. Mr Kennedy’s decision will be interesting to say the least.

  • These people need to remember the taxpayer for their degrees!
    Make the MPs pay for their degrees!

  • For most of Irish history our best export has sadly been her people….

    In my opinion, the mess the Politicans an Bankers have left the whole island in recently. Particularly with these cuts, that huge export will continue unabeted…

    Especially those young people who will be forced to pay fees for their education. If a person is capable to gain a degree they should be fully supported and their courses should be free. If the current batch of elected Representatives aren’t capable of achieving that, then new ones should be elected – simple!

  • aquifer

    Make the MPs pay for their degrees!

    How may MLAs would be paying anthing for their own?

  • runepig

    The problem with attracting students to NI is that despite having a good university in Queen’s, Belfast has little to offer. For some reason the majority of NI students (especially first years), seem to abandon their flats and halls every weekend to get their washing done and get drunk with their school friends, if they even move out at all. This leaves the few (mostly Chinese) students still around completely isolated with no sense of student community. From what ‘ve been told, the QUB union seems quite weak politically and socially too.