Cardiff University has become the second in Wales to set a maximum tuition fee of £9,000 per year for UK students from outside Wales. Aberystwyth University was the first.
The tuition rise applies to new students from autumn 2012. Students from Wales will continue to pay £3,375, with the Welsh Government paying the balance of £5,625 per student.
Cardiff University vice-chancellor Dr David Grant said the decision to charge the maximum £9,000 was not an easy one to make.
“With rapidly-reducing levels of government support, we have to act responsibly and ensure our future fee level is sufficient to maintain and develop provision across our wide portfolio of courses,” Dr Grant said.
Dr Grant said these included the large number of high-cost programmes the university delivers in science, engineering and professional disciplines.
He added that the university would also be increasing its support for students — including an expansion of its bursary programme for applicants from low-income families.
Cardiff Students’ Union said the university had consulted them and would continue to do so throughout the fee-setting process.
Union president Olly Birrell said: “While we are disappointed the university has had to make the decision to raise fees to this level, we welcome the commitment Cardiff is making to further developing the student experience and to providing financial and skills support for students from non-traditional backgrounds throughout the lifetime of a student’s course.
“We are confident Cardiff will remain one of the best places in the UK to live and study.”
National Union of Students Wales president Katie Dalton expressed unease about the hike in tuition fees.
“In terms of the Welsh higher education sector, Cardiff University has some of the lowest proportions of students from low-affluence backgrounds, state schools and community first areas,” Dalton said.
“It is clear this institution needs to take significant steps to improve their record on access.”
What do you think of the proposed rise in tuition fees for students from outside Wales?