No U-turn in Wales

October 8, 2004

I am disappointed that following misinterpretation by your paper ("Welsh row as assembly denies top-ups U-turn") I must reiterate that there has been no policy change regarding arrangements for students who start degrees at Welsh institutions in 2006.

The Welsh Assembly Government has made a commitment not to introduce variable fees in Wales for the lifetime of this Assembly (at least until the academic year 2007-08).

I have commissioned an independent review, chaired by Teresa Rees of Cardiff University, that will examine the applicability of variable fees in Wales from academic year 2007-08 onwards and the future shape of the Welsh student support system. Decisions on whether students starting their courses in 2006-07 should be exempted from top-up fees will be informed by the Rees review.

I have made it clear that I would not fetter the independence of the Rees review and that position has not changed.

Jane Davidson. Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning, Welsh Assembly

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