The Northern Ireland Skills Barometer, published by the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre, observes: “The MaSN [Maximum Student Numbers] cap does have some unintended consequences in the local education system, whereby entrance requirements have become high for NI students in popular subject areas.
“This causes some students to leave NI to study.”
Said the Foyle MLA: “Our economy is held back and our families are separated by the artificial restriction of student numbers, termed the MaSN cap.
“That system was abolished years ago elsewhere, yet we continue with it here despite its negative impact.
“We need the next government in Northern Ireland to dispense with this restriction and expand university numbers. The priority for that expansion must be in Derry, enabling our city’s economy to expand in the way that other cities with larger universities have done.
“The skills barometer shows that we have a need to build our skills base across the North. But that is particularly true for Derry.
“We especially need more undergraduates and graduates in the science, engineering and technical subjects.
“Improved careers guidance would help students and parent to plot the right way through study into qualification.”Tags: