Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Councillor Patricia Logue has urged people to support a petition organised by Phil Flanagan MLA calling on the Employment and Learning Minister to make student loan and support payments on a monthly basis.
“We are extremely concerned at the worsening financial situation facing many students.
“More and more graduates are having to settle for low-paid, part-time or zero-hour contract jobs, reducing the availability of part time employment for current students.
“As a result many students have no financial support and are completely reliant on the income they get from their student loan or support payments.
“These are currently paid in three instalments over the academic year, in October, January and after Easter. This makes it very difficult for students to budget and causes great financial distress to many people. No other section of our society would be expected to budget in such a way.
“The Scottish government has moved away from this policy to what I believe is a much more progressive and student-friendly approach of paying students in ten-monthly instalments.
“We are disappointed that Stephen Farry has refused to implement such a change here despite the student bodies calling for it.
“This petition will allow students to demonstrate to the minister that this proposal has popular support.
“I would encourage people to sign this petition, which can be found at