Students from Wales will be spared an increase in their tuition fees regardless of where in the UK they go to university under plans outlined today.
Responding to Government proposals to increase fees in England, Wales’s education minister said Welsh students would pay the same fees in 2012 that they face this year.
Leighton Andrews told Welsh Assembly members he was proposing to pay for the subsidy by top-slicing the teaching grant for Welsh universities.
Universities in Wales will charge the same basic fee of £6,000 that is proposed for English institutions in 2012-13. They will be able to charge up to £9,000 if they can demonstrate a commitment to widening access and “other strategic objectives”.
But Mr Andrews said the increase in fees for Welsh students would be paid for them.
In a statement to the Senedd chamber, he said: “In other words, the increase in fees for Welsh domiciled students, whether they study in England or Wales or Scotland or Northern Ireland, will be paid by the Welsh Assembly Government.
“Welsh domiciled students will not have to find either #6,000 or #9,000 to study.
“The public purse will continue to subsidise higher education for Welsh domiciled students.
“Welsh students who go to university in 2012-13 will be paying the same in real terms as students who go to university in this academic year.”