DUP Employment and Learning spokesperson Jonathan Bell MLA has said access to university should be based on ability to learn. Speaking as the updated Stewart report was published he stated;
“We need a richly educated population not an educated rich.
The DUP is proud that Northern Ireland holds the British record for the greatest number of people from a less well-off background accessing university per head of population in the UK.
Northern Ireland will be best served when we balance the twin aims of ensuring and protecting access to university on the ability to learn while resourcing our British universities adequately to compete at the world class level.
I accept the thesis that those who out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow. It is vital that employment and learning remains at the heart of a jobs led economic recovery.
There is a great fear that Con-Lib coalition cuts will price working-class young people out of university places. The DUP has opposed such steps in Parliament and we will oppose such steps in Northern Ireland as well.”