Many young members of the DUP attended the annual Party Conference at La Mon Hotel, Castlereagh. Of particular interest was one of the lunchtime workshops on offer entitled ‘Young Political Leadership – A View from the Front Line’, in which a panel including the chairmen of Queen’s DUA and University of Ulster DUP and Councillors Alison Brimstone, Gavin Robinson and Sharon Skillen each shared some of their personal political experiences and gave their views on the role of young people in the Party.
Several officers of the Democratic Unionist Association attended the Remembrance Ceremony at the War Memorial at Queen’s on Remembrance Sunday. The Chairman laid a wreath on behalf of the association, as did representatives of other University organisations.
East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson questioned the Universities Minister, David Willets, regarding tuition fees on Wednesday in the House of Commons. Sammy Wilson said:
“The Government says that it is committed to a better deal for students, but an increase in cost of 100% does not seem like a good deal to me.
I asked the Minister what steps he intends to take to ensure that universities do not just put up fees but first look at how they can reduce the cost of providing courses, which are in some cases excessive.
I was pleased to hear that the Minister agreed with the point that I had made, and that he said that pressure will be put on universities to ensure that efficiencies are made before tuition fees are increased.
I hope that this will be the case, and I will continue to press the Minister to ensure that that pressure is applied.
Many of my constituents are understandably very concerned about the rising cost of university education and I hope that universities will seriously consider how they can be more efficient rather than just see fee increases as an answer to reduced government funding.”
Vice-chairman of the DEL Committee Jonathan Bell MLA has questioned the Employment and Learning Minister on the review of University fees as announced on Tuesday. Commenting Mr. Bell said,
“Northern Ireland leads the United Kingdom in ensuring that young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds access university. The DUP is aiming for a richly educated population not an educated rich.
Three principles will now guide our deliberations as we analyse the Brown review in conjunction with the Stewart report which will be reconsidered in the light of the Brown review. These are participation, quality and sustainability.
We must maintain our UK lead in bringing working class students into university education. That’s part of the hand up as opposed to the hand out agenda. Quality – our excellence in teaching, learning and research requires adequate financial resources. But we must not price students out of educational opportunity. Sustainability is critical we must ensure a resource to our Universities that will translate to Northern Ireland having the capacity to continue to lead the culture of learning in the United Kingdom.”
We were pleased to welcome as guest speaker at our first Association meeting of the year Jimmy Spratt, MLA for South Belfast.
Mr. Spratt spoke on a variety of issues including the May General Election, policing and parades. Among those attending were many students who had recently joined the Association.
Following his speech, Jimmy answered questions and engaged in discussion of topics of interest to members.
We had a successful day at the annual Students’ Union Freshers’ Bazaar on Wednesday, with dozens of new and existing Queen’s students becoming members. We would like to thank Rt. Hon. Nigel Dodds MP and Peter Weir MLA who came and spoke with students at the event. It is clear that the Democratic Unionist Party continues to be the voice of the majority of Unionist students. We look forward to helping advance the Unionist cause at Queen’s University and further afield as the DUP continues to lead Northern Ireland forward.
Are you coming to Queen’s this September?
The Democratic Unionist Association held its final event of the academic year, the Annual Dinner, on Friday 4th June at McKee’s Country Store & Restaurant, Newtownards. The dinner was well attended, with many of our elected represenatives and other friends from across the province joining members for an evening that was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The meal was preceded by music provided by Richard Cameron and Philip Murdock and was followed by an address from Rt. Hon. Nigel Dodds MP. Nigel spoke on the successes of the General Election as well as the challenges that lie ahead. A fundraising auction, conducted by Peter Weir MLA concluded the evening.
May 6th has been and gone and Northern Ireland’s electorate have spoken. The DUP is still the overwhelming choice for Unionist voters and has successfully returned 8 seats to Westminster (including two new MPs) with a very solid and strong performance.
Queen’s University DUA would like to congratulate the following DUP MPs on their very successful results:
Nigel Dodds MP, Ian Paisley Jr MP, Sammy Wilson MP, Jim Shannon MP, David Simpson MP, William McCrea MP, Jeffrey Donaldson MP, and Gregory Campbell MP!
The DUP continues to keep Northern Ireland moving forward and it is abundantly clear that the DUP’s option of political stability and a United, Strong Unionism is the preferred choice for the people of Northern Ireland. Others, who offered nothing with their negative, backward, divided politics have failed. They are clearly not what the people of Northern Ireland want, and these results prove that.
The DUP will continue to deliver at Local Council, Stormont, Europe and Westminster to get the best deal for all of the people of Ulster.
The DUP is still officially the voice for the people of Northern Ireland and is the team unanimously chosen to lead for Ulster at Westminster.
The DUP will continue to “Keep Northern Ireland Moving Forward!”