NUS Wales believes that the proposed reallocation of student numbers from 2013/14 is in response to intense pressure on Wales’ universities following the introduction of a Core and Margin system in England.
We welcome Education Minister Leighton Andrews’ rejection of an elitist AAB system similar to the one imposed in England. However, we are concerned that it could lead to unintended distortions is the pattern of HE provision across Wales.
Luke Young, President of NUS Wales said:
"This is a system born of a policy fudge in England that has forced the Funding Council into taking action to protect our world class universities. The obsession with forcing the appearance of a market in higher education is clearly having knock on effects across the Welsh border.
"While Core and Margin in Wales is a welcome break from the Westminster Government's elitist AAB model, I would urge caution that this does not end up straining local access to places in some parts of Wales due to the reallocation method.
"The success of this system will be judged on the ability of universities to protect local provision, to thrive on a national level, and reduce the extortionate fees that students currently pay for.
"On the whole, student numbers will be protected and the overall funding of universities will rise slightly with special protection for STEM subjects. So while vice chancellors are eagerly working out their mental maths to see how their institution can gain the best outcome, we hope that the math is matched by the commitment to the key areas such as fair access that they have committed to in their fee plans."
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