The Welsh Assembly Government’s announcement that Welsh students will not have to pay any extra tuition fees has been welcomed by Mabon ap Gwynfor, Plaid Cymru candidate in Clwyd South. He said that this was a clear example of a Plaid-driven Government putting principles into action.
While basic tuition fees in Wales will rise, students from Wales studying anywhere in the UK will not have to pay any extra cost with the balance being met by the Welsh Assembly Government.
Mabon ap Gwynfor said: “This is a principled decision made by the Welsh Assembly Government. Higher Education should not be the preserve of the wealthy, but instead everybody should have equal opportunity to attend any University of their choice based on merit.
“I have personally campaigned against student tuition fees for 12 years, leading students from what was NEWI (now Glyndwr University) on marches in London back in 2000. This is a lesson to the Liberal Democrats on how to put principles into action when in Government. Both the Lib Dems and the Conservatives have turned their backs on Welsh students. This is a clear example of a Welsh Government responding to Wales’ needs.”
Mabon ap Gwynfor said that this policy announcement would help secure Glyndwr University’s future: “The policies implemented in London of slashing the Higher Education budget in England, which will result in less money being transferred over to the Welsh Assembly Government, and opening up Higher Education to the market further by significantly raising fees, threatens to damage Welsh universities. The Welsh Assembly Government have tried to minimise the effects of the Tory-Lib Dem Higher Education funding policies as much as possible in order that Welsh students and Welsh universities continue to contribute to the development of our society.”
He was supported by Marc Jones, Plaid’s Assembly candidate for Wrexham, who said: “Welsh students and their families can now see what a progressive government can do. Even with the limited powers the Assembly currently has and the budget restrictions placed on it by London, it has made a brave decision to invest in the next generation’s education. This is in complete contrast to the Lib Dem-Conservative government in London, which has decided to increase annual tuition fees to £9,000. This will help make a university education something that only the rich and privileged can afford in England while the Plaid-Labour government in Wales keeps the doors open for people from all backgrounds.”