Northern Ireland

Decisions needed over future funding of NI higher education - universities

The vice-chancellors of Queen's University and Ulster University have said serious decisions need to be taken over the future funding of higher education in Northern Ireland.

The head of Queen's, Prof Patrick Johnston, told the BBC's Inside Business programme a rise in tuition fees, or a return to public funding, was required to bridge a £100m gap.

"We have some very critical decisions as a society to make very, very quickly, because we're already in trouble" he said.

"We're bringing corporation tax in in 2018, we actually today don't have the graduates to fill those jobs.

"We have to either come up with a number of solutions, one of which might be the public purse begins to fund the full investment in higher education that is needed, either fees or we have to get back to public funding."

Inside Business is on BBC Radio Ulster and Radio Foyle at 13:30 BST on Sunday.

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