He promised to meet with representatives of the NUS-USI in the coming weeks after hundreds of students protested at Stormont calling for the abolition of variable Tuition Fees in Northern Ireland.
Katie Morgan, president of the NUS-USI said: "Top-up fees of GBP9,000 for three years are contributing to unacceptable levels of hardship for Northern Ireland's undergraduates."
After finishing university and entering the workforce, student loan repayments condemned young people to live at the breadline for years and years, she said.
And she warned fees drove potential students from working class backgrounds to abandon the idea of a university education.
She said: "Top-up fees make the prospect of higher education even less affordable, and so act as a major deterrent to non-wealthy school leavers."
She urged MLA's to do more than pass the buck - "the charging of bucks for tuition must stop in 2008, here in Northern Ireland".
Fees are not changed to Scottish students in Scotland and have been abolished in the Irish republic.
Youth wings of both the Alliance Party and SDLP backed the students.
SDLP Youth chairman Gary McKeown said: "Tuition fees are forcing students into a lifelong spiral of debt, and now many people are deciding to avoid third-level education because they just cannot afford to go to university.
"We believe that people who want to go to university should be judged on their ability - not on their bank balance or the amount of cash their parents can afford to fork-out to help them".
Sir Reg said the fees were introduced in September 2006 to provide universities with additional revenue to help them maintain their world class status.
He said they didn't have to start paying the money back until they were earning over GBP15,000 a year and increased maintenance grants had been introduced at the same time to mitigate the impact of the fees on the less well off students.
It was too early to gauge the impact of the fees, he said, but a review was planned at the beginning of the next academic year which would look, particularly, at participation by students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
"The outcome of the review will inform future policy on tuition fees and student finance arrangements for Northern Ireland.
In the meantime, I have agreed to meet with representatives of NUS-USI in the coming weeks to discuss their concerns," he said.
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