2015/16 DELNI draft budget

23 December 2014

On 3 November 2014, the Northern Ireland Minister for Finance and Personnel Simon Hamilton presented a draft budget and launched a corresponding consultation. The draft budget includes a 10.8% cut in resources to the Department of Employment and Learning, the department responsible for the funding of higher education in Northern Ireland.

The Russell Group has submitted evidence to the consultation on the draft budget which can be read here.

Commenting on the Russell Group’s submission to the Northern Ireland budget consultation, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“We welcome the opportunity to contribute to the 2015-16 Budget consultation of the Northern Ireland Executive. Strong and innovative universities make a huge contribution to the economic productivity of Northern Ireland and the UK more broadly.

“We are deeply concerned that proposed cuts to university funding will leave Northern Ireland’s Russell Group institution, Queen’s University Belfast, inadequately resourced to support vital local economic development and to compete internationally.

“Queen’s has made immeasurable positive contributions to life in Northern Ireland, but the ongoing social and cultural benefits will be lost with further reduction in higher education budgets.

“Continued erosion of financial support for universities will have a damaging effect on Northern Ireland’s capacity to attract and hold investment and its ability to prepare its young people for a dynamic future.

“In the discussions over the budget it is important to recognise the value of investing for the future. World-class universities are national assets, they are anchors for growth and jobs as well as being central to society and culture. Investing in them should remain a high priority.”

Note to Editors

  1. The 24 Russell Group universities have a total economic output of more than £32 billion per annum, support more than 300,000 jobs across the UK and have overseas earnings of over £4 billion every year.
  2. Our publication Staying on top: The challenge of sustaining world-class higher education in the UK outlines the dangers of underinvestment in Britain’s leading research-intensive universities and the wider implications for the health of the UK economy.

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