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UCU report highlights Labour’s tuition fees blunder

Welsh Conservatives have renewed calls for an end to Labour’s tuition fees subsidy, as a new report highlights the huge amounts of money leaving Wales for England.

 

In a report published today, the University and College Union (UCU) concludes that ‘Welsh taxpayers pay a premium of 9% to enable Welsh students to study in England’.

‘Mind the gap: Comparing public funding in higher and further education’ also concludes that the current system means ‘Welsh taxpayers must pay much more to help Welsh students studying in other UK countries.’

It argues that the ‘perverse system means that Wales is paying to encourage a brain drain while Scotland is saving money and keeping the vast majority of students at home.’

The report also follows recent criticism from the Learned Society of Wales, warned of the danger imposed on our university sector’s prospects as a result of this policy

Welsh Conservatives have always called for the Labour government’s one billion pounds subsidy to end, with a hardship fund put in place for those most in need.

Shadow Minister for Education, Angela Burns AM, said:

“This report provides more evidence against a policy that has always been an irresponsible gimmick.

“Labour’s subsidy is a runaway train that gathers piles of Welsh taxpayers’ cash and dumps them in England.

“Because of this policy, we know that - every year - tens of millions of pounds are leaving Welsh universities and heading to English institutions instead.

“Our sector’s competitiveness is being severely damaged and it’s about time Labour ministers saw sense.

 

“Welsh Conservatives would ensure those most in need of help received it – but we would not allow Labour’s one billion pounds mistake to continue.”