Wales signals intent to abolish tuition fees
- By: Helen Barratt
The Welsh first minister, Rhodri Morgan, announced that he would seek powers to scrap tuition fees in Wales, if the long awaited Department for Education and Skills review of student funding reaches the “wrong” conclusion.
The Welsh Assembly does not currently have the power to abolish student fees but has already introduced grants for around 43 000 students from low-income backgrounds, as well as earmarking an extra £41m ($62m; €70m) for the education budget. Morgan said, however, that he would be prepared to seek legislation to allow the assembly to abolish fees, as has happened in Scotland. The review of funding was announced at the Labour party conference last year, and education secretary Estelle Morris has promised that it will take place before the summer.
The Labour Party in Wales has been under increasing pressure to tackle student hardship since Rees and others' report (Student financial hardship in further and