By Emma Videan
On 18th October, it was revealed that the previously proposed rise in tuition fees from £9,000 per year to £9,295 in Wales have been abandoned. In addition to this the income level at which students will be forced to start repaying their loan will be raised from £21,000 to £25,000. The increase of income level gives post-graduate students a better opportunity than before to be earning a decent wage before they begin to pay back their debts.
Despite that the UK Government proposed to freeze the fees at the higher rate next year, Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams, explained that this announcement had caused ‘turmoil’ across the country.
Williams also pledged to allocate £6m to the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) to deal with a number of issues affecting the sector, especially threats coming from Brexit.
It is the Welsh ministers that decide policy for universities in Wales, but this does not mean that that of the rest of the UK does not influence the policies. Currently, Welsh Students get grants of £4,046 to cover their fees, however this figure is also set to change next year. While oppositions have criticised this move as being a U-turn, Williams defends it by claiming that it will offer stability to students.