NUS-USI and UCU representing both students and academic staff in higher education reiterate our joint opposition to any increase in tuition fees in NI.
The answer to the funding of higher education institutions is not to place an additional financial burden on to students. There is currently a student mental health crisis with debt and financial worries one of the main contributing factors. Any increase in tuition fees will only make this worse.
We believe increasing tuition fees only serves to further marketize higher education that has already led to attacks on staff pay and pensions and a mental health crisis amongst students. We believe higher education needs to be properly funded, accessible and lifelong.
NUS-USI and UCU believe the executive needs to prioritise investment in higher education. We believe the best way to deal with serious issues within our local economy, in particular high levels of inequality, is to invest in education to knock down barriers to access.
Once again, staff and students are united.