In a report for the Higher Education Policy Institute last week, Welsh universities were warned that they would not necessarily see any benefit from scrapping the Welsh government tuition fee subsidy for young Welsh people who study outside Wales (“Don’t count cash before scrapping grant, Welsh told”, News, 26 February). The report said that such a move would likely be at the expense of students.
Although it is right that we examine how we fund higher education in Wales, the priority must be to adequately invest in students from any background to allow them to follow whatever educational path in the UK suits them best.
Students’ life choices cannot and should not be shepherded by the interests of institutions, governments, civil servants, funding bodies or even the National Union of Students Wales.
It would be easy to worry only about the interests of the Welsh education sector, but our vision must be one that includes the interests of individuals from Wales who wish to study elsewhere. We must trust our students to make the right choices, and the onus is on all of us to maximise Wales’ graduate jobs market appeal so that they want to come back.
President, National Union of Students Wales