Vice-chancellor warns of ‘bleak future’ if HE cuts go ahead

The next generation faces a “bleak future” if proposed cuts to higher education in Northern Ireland go ahead, the head of Queen’s University Belfast has warned, write Jonathan McCambridge and Claudia Savage for PA. The university’s president and vice-chancellor, Professor Ian Greer, also said the damage to the Northern Ireland economy caused by the cuts would take years to recover from.

This week, the Department for the Economy said a number of sectors are facing cuts as it deals with a funding deficit of £130 million (US$162 million). The department also said its officials have been asked to examine the revenue-raising potential of increasing university student fees in Northern Ireland to £7,000.

The budget for Northern Ireland was set by Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris in the absence of a Stormont executive. Greer said cuts at this level would increase the number of young people choosing to study in other parts of the UK and beyond. He said: “We already lose 34% of our young people (approximately 5,000) every year to universities in Great Britain and less than a third of those ever come back home.”
Full report on The Irish News site