The £9,000 tuition fee cap will be raised along with inflation by Fall 2018, and will remain linked to inflation rates for the upcoming three years, Kirsty Williams says.
What She Said
According to Kirsty Williams, the £9,000 tuition fee cap will be raised along with the increasing inflation rates by Fall 2018. She also says that tuition fees will remain linked to inflation rates for the upcoming three years.
According to Welsh Ministers, the highest tuition fees at Wales universities will be rising to £9,295 in the fall of 2018. The highest tuition fees in England have already gone up to £9,250, and will most likely rise to more than £9,500 by Fall 2018.
Comments On the Increase
Kirsty Williams, the Education Secretary of Wales, told AMs that higher education in Wales “operates in a UK-wide and international context”.
“We are leading the way with our shift to support living costs, but policy in England also has a direct knock-on effect.” she said. “Our universities must be able to compete domestically and internationally – jobs, prosperity and national well-being depend on it.”
“I can confirm that they will continue to be paid for through a publicly supported loan system and only repaid after graduation, linked to income levels.”
Ellen Jones, the president of the Students’ National Union in Wales, said that Williams’ announcement “makes the mission of getting students into higher education harder – not easier”.
“Let me be very clear: we do not support any rise in fees,” she said. “We understand that budgets are under pressure as a result of the UK Government’s regressive approach to public spending but where the axe falls is up to the Welsh Government. I cannot stand the fact that students are being used to shoulder this particular burden.”
Ms Jones says she wants Wales’ ministers to “protect the entire education budget just like it has the health budget, instead of making the sector fight over what money there is”.
Llyr Druffydd, the spokesman for Plaid Cymru education said it is “hugely disappointing” that ministers are “increasing the burden of debt on students”.
“Students generally pay higher levels of interest than most people pay on their mortgages, so it’s no surprise that around 75% of students never pay back their debts,” he said.
Darren Millar, a conservative AM, described the increase as a “betrayal of students across Wales and a kick in the teeth to Labour voters across the country”.
“Just weeks ago, Labour’s first minister was telling people to vote Labour to scrap tuition fees, yet today, with amazing hypocrisy, his Government has announced a hike in the cap on tuition fees paid by Welsh students.” he said.