Letter: Shameful assembly (1)

April 6, 2001

The problem in Welsh universities is not one of recruitment ("Squeeze hinders growth in Wales", THES , March 30), as any number of bums can be (and are) put on seats.

The problem is simply that the unit of resource per student in Wales is some 4-5 per cent less than it is in England and some 23-24 per cent less than that in Scotland. Even the lower figure amounts to a shortfall in funding of £19.3 million from 1997-2001. Until this indefensible anomaly is resolved, all members of the Welsh Assembly, which is responsible for allowing this to endure, should hang their heads in shame.

In addition, in November David Blunkett announced nearly £1 billion additional funding for English universities, which the assembly has yet to match.

We have many world-class individuals and departments, but if Wales is serious about keeping them and having an economy fit for the 21st century, it will have to provide institutions with the necessary investment now.

Promises, spin and mendacious briefings will not suffice.

Douglas Kell
Director of research
Institute of Biological Sciences
University of Wales

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