Glyndŵr loses out after setting fees low

Glyndŵr University claims that it has been “disadvantaged” for “following government policy” after funding allocations for Welsh universities indicated that it could suffer a 20.3 per cent drop in its income in 2012-13

March 30, 2012

Because the Wrexham institution has set average tuition fees at £6,643 – whereas all other Welsh universities set theirs above £8,500 – it is unable to compensate for deep cuts in core funding.

Michael Scott, vice-chancellor and chief executive, said in a statement that the university was “disappointed” with today’s announcement by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.

“When setting fee levels for students for 2012-13 we deliberately opted for fees which would lessen the burden of debt on our students and the Welsh government while at the same time meeting the social justice and economic development aims of the Welsh government.

“It is a shame therefore that the university is being disadvantaged compared to other universities for following government policy,” he added.

From 2012-13, Welsh universities will charge tuition fees as in England but the Cardiff government will pay costs above £3,465 a year if a student is domiciled in Wales.

As a result, total funding to Welsh universities will be cut by 36.6 per cent, but the shortfall will be made up through higher tuition fees.

However, Glyndwr, with its lower fees, will receive far less than other institutions. The HEFCW calculations show that Glyndwr will suffer a 46.6 per cent cut in its core allocation. As the university will receive only £3.5 million in tuition fees, the result will be a drop of 20.3 per cent in its overall funding.

Professor Scott said that the university had been “anticipating a reduction on this scale and [had] been planning for it for some time”.

When expected fee income is taken into account, the overall funding for Welsh universities will rise by 1.6 per cent between 2011-12 and 2012-13 to £339.1 million.

The biggest winner will be Bangor University, which is set to receive a 6.2 per cent funding increase. Aberystwyth University (5.2 per cent), Cardiff Metropolitan University (4.5 per cent) and Swansea University (3.6 per cent) are the only other institutions to receive above-inflation increases.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

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