Update: 12:15

December 5, 2002

Tories call for HE access target to be scrapped
The government's aim of getting half of all under-30s into higher education by 2010 will cost families who already have to pay tuition fees an extra £2,234 a year, the Conservatives warned today. Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said "the first thing" that ministers must do is to scrap the target, as meeting it would cost more than £8 billion, which would have to be paid for by higher taxes or top-up fees. Speaking during a visit to a secondary school in north London, Mr Duncan Smith said the problems were all of the government's own making, as it had ignored the Dearing report's recommendation that top-up fees were a bad idea. "We have not seen any reason why this should be changed," said Mr Duncan Smith.

NUS Ireland to launch stress-busting campaign
A campaign to combat the growing problems of stress and depression suffered by students is being launched in Belfast tomorrow by the National Union of Students in Ireland and the Health Promotion Agency. More than 5,000 copies of an advice booklet are going to first-year students across Northern Ireland.

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