The party’s spokesperson for Higher and Further Education said: “The ‘Review of Post-18 Education and Funding’ was an opportunity to recognise that education is a right, as well as enabler to prosperity.
“It is also the foundation of tackling deprivation and social inequality.
“Education, including third level education, should be publicly-funded and invested in.
“While the review focused mainly on England it has implications for the north.
“In recent years, the marketisation of particularly the universities sector has led to a situation which is unsustainable and which leaves young people with high levels of debt.
“The review makes a recommendation in relation to maintenance grants which is welcome but there is a real need to ensure that there are no barriers to participation in education due to their socio-economic background.
“The review also recognises the impact of austerity cuts on further education and the ability of colleges to deliver courses.
“It is clear that we need a third level education system where there is parity between further education and higher education and the two are closely interlinked to meet the needs of both the economy and individuals,” added the East Derry MLA.