Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Enter the Dragon - or Face Losing Fee Support

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Enter the Dragon - or Face Losing Fee Support

Article excerpt

Plaid Cymru's shadow education minister has called for tuition fee support to be withdrawn from Welsh students who study in other parts of the UK.

Simon Thomas has argued that falls in applicants and acceptances to Welsh universities this year show that Cardiff's policy of paying the majority of tuition fees for all Welsh-domiciled students, regardless of where in the UK they study, is unsustainable and will lead to a "spiral of decline".

He has written a consultation document that says the Welsh government's approach is "dependent on sufficient numbers of students from other UK countries studying at Welsh universities in order to fund them".

The number of students from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland accepted by Welsh institutions this year has fallen by almost a quarter, according to statistics released by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service on 20 September.

From this academic year, Welsh-domiciled students will be charged up to Pounds 9,000 at any university in the UK, but the Cardiff government will cover their fees above Pounds 3,465 a year.

UK students from outside Wales face fees of Pounds 9,000 a year to study at the country's universities.

Mr Thomas' consultation document argues that this policy is "essentially, subsidising those (non-Welsh) universities". …

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