Abolition of tuition fees is likely to be high on the agenda of the new Northern Ireland Assembly executive. There is a broad consensus between the parties to abolish fees, although the former Department of Education warned it would cost Pounds 15 million. Sean Farren, the new Northern Ireland minister for higher and further education, a veteran member of John Hume's Social, Democratic and Labour Party, is a lecturer at the University of Ulster. His party has already indicated it is willing to abolish fees.
Student unions are to lobby him to review student support. They also want to see the cap on higher education numbers removed, and facilities in further education improved.
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