Margaret goes back to school

Margaret goes back to school

4 January 2012


SOUTH Down MP Margaret Ritchie went back to college last week.

She ped in on second year media students at the South Eastern Regional College’s Newcastle campus, using her visit to highlight the need for additional higher education places across the constituency.

After the recent announcement that only 70 additional undergraduate places will be allocated to further education providers in Northern Ireland, the South Down MP said the Minister for Higher Education needs to review his decision.

She continued: “Locally, we have a high demand for further and higher education places. All of our campuses across South Down are successful, but demands are not being met for additional undergraduate places at both the South Eastern and Southern Regional colleges.

“Additional places at undergraduate level in the so-called STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are vital if we are to provide a boost to our local economy and fulfil the potential of our local population.”

Miss Ritchie said in addition, studying locally for undergraduate courses will open up opportunities to many students who can not afford the cost of living away from home, combined with the high cost of course fees.

She added: “I’ll be seeking a meeting with the Minister to discuss the need for a substantial increase in undergraduate places in both South Down colleges.

“They have a proven track record of delivery and this must be built upon to support our local population and economy.”