Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan has expressed concerns at the Agriculture Minister’s plans to increase tuition fees at the College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE).
The North Antrim MLA said:
“The Agriculture Minister should bin plans to increase tuition fees at the College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE).
“There is absolutely no rationale for this proposed increase given the low impact that subsiding these fees has on the Department’s budget.
“The Minister’s proposals will have a negative impact on students hoping to attend courses at CAFRE and potentially impact on the numbers able to attend these courses.
The skills challenge in rural areas is significant and by providing financial support and widening participation to education, such as that offered in CAFRE College, is pivotal to the sustainability and growth of the rural economy and rural communities.
“I will be writing to the Minister urging him to reconsider this decision.”