Speaking after four local universities penned a joint letter to the British Secretary of State raising the issue, Sinn Féin economy spokesperson Conor Murphy said:
“Reports from four local universities that student places are at risk of being cut due to a lack of funding will have dire consequences for the development of our young people and our economy.
“I agree with the universities that this would have ‘a fundamental and dangerous impact on our future’ causing long-term and irreparable damage to our society and economy.
“We already have 5,000 students leaving to study elsewhere every year, with only a third returning.
“It is shameful that our young people will be the collateral damage in a political conflict between the British government and the DUP.
“These savage Tory cuts are the direct consequence of the absence of the Executive.
“The boycott of the Executive by the DUP is itself an act of gross political negligence which must end.
“There is an urgent onus on the two governments, the parties and not least the DUP to get the Assembly and Executive up and moving.”