General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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Empey considers findings of Browne Review



Employment and Learning Minister, Sir Reg Empey, is currently considering the findings of the Browne Review and the Stuart Review, which were published today.

The Browne Review was tasked with making recommendations to Government on the future of higher education funding and student finance for full and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate students in England.

Sir Reg said: “I am glad that Lord Browne’s report has now been published.  I will be carefully considering the detail of the report, alongside the Stuart Review, commissioned by my Department, on variable fees and future student finance arrangements in Northern Ireland.  I will then launch a public consultation on these important issues, which will include an update from Joanne Stuart which will reflect on Lord Browne’s recommendations.”

The Minister continued by saying:  “I hope that the findings of the Browne and Stuart reviews and the future consultation will stimulate a mature and responsible debate on the funding of higher education here. It is vital that we create a long term, strategic plan for the future of our students in Northern Ireland.”

The key recommendations from Lord Browne’s report can be found at external link .

Sir Reg went on to outline his commitment to the Higher Education sector in Northern Ireland.  He said: “Whilst we await the detail and implications for all departments of the Comprehensive Spending Review, nonetheless, one of my concerns is to protect, as far as possible, Northern Ireland’s position as having the highest participation rate of all the regions in higher education. In addition, we in Northern Ireland have led the way in attracting students from disadvantaged backgrounds into higher education and I want this excellent work to continue.

“Higher education, without doubt, plays a significant role in strengthening Northern Ireland’s economy and society and I will do my utmost to continue to support this.”


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