Back to press releases
NUS Wales condemns tuition fees’ rise and calls for the education budget to be protected
NUS Wales, the body which represents students in Wales, has reacted with anger at the announcement that tuition fees are to rise in line with inflation.
The Welsh Government has announced its intention to allow tuition fees to rise in line with inflation. That means that, from 2018/19, students in Wales will pay £9,295 a year in fees.
Commenting, NUS Wales President Ellen Jones said:
“I am extremely angry that the Welsh Government has chosen to allow students to bear the brunt of the Westminster austerity agenda.
“Education benefits everyone and strengthens the economy so I want to see the Welsh Government protecting the whole education budget.
“No matter what the Welsh Government says, today’s announcement makes the mission of getting students into higher education harder – not easier.
“So, let me be very clear: we do not support any rise in fees.
“Today’s change means fees will rise in the first place, and then rise even more with inflation.
“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. I want the Welsh Government to protect the entire education budget just like it has the health budget, instead of making the sector fight over what money there is.
“Our approach to student finance is that Wales should be moving pragmatically towards fee-free education. With that in mind, today is a huge step backwards.
“While we welcome some aspects of these arrangements, namely around the National Living Wage and a commitment to working with us to identify support that can be offered to student carers, we are also disappointed that part-time provision will remain unregulated.
“We understand that there is some form of ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ that universities won’t raise fees for part-time study. But frankly, to a carer or parent who wants to enter higher education but needs to study part-time, that isn’t really worth much.
“We are disappointed that postgraduate support arrangements won’t be introduced until at least 2019/20. We urge the Welsh Government and the Student Loans Company to introduce support for postgraduate students as a matter of urgency.
“Finally, let me note that it doesn’t pass me by that this announcement has been made in the summer holidays when students have already left campus.”
Notes to editors
1.1. NUS Wales President Ellen Jones is available for interview in English.
About NUS Wales
NUS Wales is a confederation of students’ unions representing more than 300,000 students in the nation. As the only representative voice for students in Wales, NUS Wales represents students from all affiliated students’ unions in both HE and FE sectors, this includes 8 HE institutions and all Welsh FE Colleges.
NUS Wales exists to promote, defend and extend the rights of students and develop and champion strong students’ unions. We fight barriers to education; empower students to shape both a quality learning experience and the world around them; as well as supporting influential, democratic and well-resourced students’ unions.
As well as campaigning on behalf of our members, NUS Wales provides a range of training to students’ unions including training for full-time offices, part-time officers and staff. We provide support to students’ unions to ensure they are able to engage positively with the latest policy developments that affect them.
The core values of NUS Wales are democracy, equality and collectivism. We believe that student organisations should be student-led and that education is a benefit to the individual and to society.