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Delay underlines long term uncertainty about the sustainability of government policy

07/12/2012

Plaid call for credible policy alternatives

The Party of Wales has attributed the delay in the implementation of student support on part-time degrees that was announced today to the uncertainty about the sustainability of the government’s tuition fees policy. Plaid Cymru has previously voiced its concerns about the policy, and has opened its own consultation on the policy in order to draw up credible and sustainable alternatives.

The Party of Wales is concerned about flaws in the current system which has essentially led to a situation where the Welsh Government subsidises UK universities while underfunding Welsh establishments. Covering tuition fee costs which are set at a high level means that the Welsh Government often pays more to universities outside of Wales than they do to Welsh universities.

The Party of Wales Shadow Education Minister Simon Thomas said:

“This is the second time the Welsh Government has delayed its decision on how it will fund this policy. This is clearly down to uncertainty over how sustainable the policy is. The original policy that was drawn up by the One Wales Government was based on much lower tuition fee costs, and as a result to the higher level costs it is clear that the Welsh Government cannot afford it. That’s why Plaid Cymru has taken it upon itself to develop credible alternatives to the policy that are sustainable in the long term.

“Universities are a cornerstone of our cultural life and economic prosperity, and we need a policy that will protect them in the long term. Unless the inequality in the system is addressed, the Welsh Government will continue to subsidise other universities while underfunding Welsh ones. The Party of Wales will fight any increase in tuition fees and will put forward sustainable alternative policies that will deliver for Wales in the long term.

“A Plaid Cymru government would ensure that any Welsh student that wants to can go to university regardless of their social background, and getting the tuition fees policy right is a vital step in ensuring that this happens.”