Higher Education Built on Principles of Social Justice
Byline: LEIGHTON ANDREWS
IHAVE always said that we, as a government, do not support full-cost or near full cost fees for higher education.
We also do not believe that higher education should be organised on the basis of a market.
In our policy for Higher Education (HE) For our Future, we set out clearly our objectives for HE.
We stated that we must build the future of higher education on the secure foundations of social justice and supporting a buoyant economy.
Central to this policy is the principle that access to higher education should be on the basis of the individual's potential to benefit, and not on the basis of what they can afford to pay.
We have a responsibility to Welsh-domiciled students, wherever they choose to study.
We also have a responsibility to ensure that Wales benefits, economically, socially and culturally, from the investment that the Assembly Government makes in higher education in Wales.
On that basis, I believe the Welsh Assembly Government has put in place for 2012/13 the most equitable student finance system we've ever created.
It's an affordable solution for Welsh domiciled students and Higher Education providers here in Wales.
We are confident in our costings right up to 2016 -2017.
Considerable financial modelling has been done by my officials to ensure these pioneering changes are sustainable in the long-term.
To put it simply, we propose - subject to legislation - that basic tuition fees in Wales will rise to up to pounds 4,000 per annum from academic year 2012/2013. …