Welsh Conservatives have today supported universities calling for the Welsh government to review the way they are funded.
Speaking to BBC Wales, senior higher education officials have highlighted the huge amounts of money going to universities in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland as a result of the Welsh Government’s tuition fees policy.
Today’s reports follow a Freedom of Information request by Welsh Conservatives earlier this year. Figures obtained by the Assembly group revealed that up to £15.3million of the Welsh Government’s Higher Education budget goes to five English universities.
Bristol, Bath, Exeter, Liverpool and Chester take the most Welsh-domiciled students, according to the figures. Based on the potential tuition fee subsidy of £5,500, over £15 million could be lost to these universities alone.
Welsh Conservatives have consistently opposed Labour’s tuition fee subsidy, which costs £3.6billion, of which almost half a billion could be destined for universities in England.
Shadow Minister for Education Angela Burns AM, said:
“It has always been clear to Welsh Conservatives that the Labour government’s tuition fees policy is completely unsustainable.
“This un-costed blunder is a runaway train shedding bags of public money all over the UK at the expense of Welsh universities and educational standards.
“Despite Labour trumpeting the benefits for poorer families, it’s still to be proven if this policy really is supporting them appropriately and helping more children into higher education.
“The evidence is stacking up against the policy’s senseless details and our most senior higher education experts are right to highlight the glaring mistakes.
“Labour’s new education minister must now wake up to this gaffe and properly prioritise and support Welsh students and Welsh institutions.”