NUS Wales believes that the UK Labour Party needs to be more ambitious in dealing with higher education funding and that Welsh Labour needs to keep to its election commitment to support Welsh students with the cost of fees, wherever they choose to study in the UK.
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has announced that if his party were in power they would limit tuition fees in England to £6,000 per year. This would have an impact on the funding arrangements for universities in Wales as the majority of institutions intend to charge English students studying in Wales up to £9,000 from 2012.
Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones has commented on the announcement saying that the policy would save money in the Welsh Government budget due to a lower subsidy being needed for Welsh domiciled students.
In response to this announcement, NUS Wales President Luke Young said:
"A tuition fee cap at £6,000 is just as bad as a cap at £9,000. This is a policy that needs to develop before they even think of putting it to the electorate at a General Election. Ed Miliband is on the record for personally supporting a Graduate Tax; we need to hear more on the substance of this proposal. Cutting the cap would be a welcome move but lacks ambition in overhauling the chaotic system being imposed by the Government in Westminster."
"The Welsh Government's commitment to support Welsh domiciled students wherever they choose to study in the UK remains the right thing to do. While the prospect of a UK Labour Government is unlikely in the next few weeks, Welsh Labour must plan ahead to ensure a sustainable university funding regime that protects the graduate from further debt. It should also stick to its guns in protecting Wales from the excesses of a market in Higher Education."