‘You’re failing a generation with cuts’

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The Ulster University Students’ Union President Colum Mackey says the Executive is failing a generation with its cuts to education, health and other services.

Mr Mackey was speaking after the Ulster University said it would be slashing courses across a range of subject areas and closing down two schools at least.

Mr Mackey said society will pay the consequences down the road if the Executive fails to invest in the future.

He said: “Ulster University Students’ Union is deeply distressed to learn of the latest articulation of the devastating cuts by the Department for Employment and Learning at Ulster.

“The Northern Ireland Executive has failed to prioritise higher education and the University must react to the reduction in funding.

“We are deeply disappointed that the University is being forced to make very hard decisions and will no longer be running a range of courses. The knock on affect for students and resulting job losses for staff are unacceptable.

“In cutting higher education the Executive is failing a generation of young people. For some students it will affect their ability to study their subject of choice in Northern Ireland; for many others it will stop them from accessing a university education.

“A failure to invest in higher education is a failure to invest in our economy, in our healthcare system, in society and in individuals. The Executive must reconsider its decision to cut funding to education.

“The full impact of the reduction in funding has yet to be realised and the Students Union will continue to work with the University in the interest of students to ensure the impact of these cuts are minimised.”