Welsh Students’ Fee Relief

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Yn Gymraeg

There’s good news for Welsh university students.

Education Minister Leighton Andrews made the announcement that Welsh students will be protected from the increase of tuition fees.

Tuition fees in Wales will rise to £6,000 per year, or £9,000 in some cases.

That said, the Welsh Assembly Government have stated that they will meet the cost of extra fees for students from Wales attending any UK university, meaning that Welsh students will only have to pay £3,290 to study at university, the same as current students (like me) pay now.

During a statement to the Senedd chamber, Mr Andrews stated “In other words, the increase in fees for Welsh domiciled students, whether they study in England or Wales or Scotland or Northern Ireland, will be paid by the Welsh Assembly Government.

“Welsh domiciled students will not have to find either £6,000 or £9,000 to study.

“The public purse will continue to subsidise higher education for Welsh domiciled students.

“Welsh students who go to university in 2012-13 will be paying the same in real terms as students who go to university in this academic year.”

“I believe that the arrangements we’ve put in place are both fair, equitable and sustainable,” he added.

Mr Andrews’ statement came as thousands of students in England protested again against the planned raise in tuition fees.

While roughly a hundred students marched from Cardiff University to Queen Street in the city centre, a similar number held a protest march in Bangor and A-level students at Gower College Swansea also held a protest march in the morning.

Only one male was arrested at the Cardiff march for a public order offence.

Of the announcement, Paul Davies AM, the Welsh Conservatives’ education spokesman, said: “It has become increasingly clear that the current funding arrangements for Welsh higher education institutions are unsustainable.

“The policy of no top-up fees, which the Welsh Conservatives have supported for many years, has resulted in increased economic activity in Wales’ university towns and cities.

“The challenge now is to ensure we can improve the competitiveness of Wales’ higher education institutions and at the same time narrow the funding gap which has widened between Welsh institutions and those in other nations of the UK.”

The representative body for the higher education for Wales, Higher Education Wales, welcomed the announcement. Chair Prof Noel Lloyd mentioned that, “This appears to be good news for Welsh domiciled students and sees Wales taking a different direction in its support to students relative to England.”

So, Welsh students no longer need to worry about the rise of tuition fees. How do you feel about this?

SOURCE: BBC Wales

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