Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Don't Count Cash before Scrapping Grant, Welsh Told

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Don't Count Cash before Scrapping Grant, Welsh Told

Article excerpt

Welsh universities are wrong to assume they would automatically benefit from the end of the tuition fee subsidy for students who attend institutions elsewhere in the UK.

That is according to a Higher Education Policy Institute report, which warns that any change in policy would likely be at the expense of students, in terms of the cost of study and the choice of locations.

Welsh students pay the first £3,685 of their tuition fees, wherever they study in the UK, and the Cardiff government pays the rest.

More than one in three full-time Welsh undergraduates go to English universities and face tuition fees of £9,000 annually, pushing the estimated annual cost of the subsidy to £91 million. Opposition parties and some university leaders have complained that this leaves Wales' higher education sector out of pocket.

But in Whose to Lose? Citizens, Institutions and the Ownership of Higher Education Funding in a Devolved UK, Lucy Hunter Blackburn, a former head of higher education for the Scottish government, says that even if restriction of fee support to Welsh institutions did persuade more students to study locally, much of the previously "lost" money would be required to teach them. …

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