Budget u-turn brings sigh of relief to universities

Local Ceredigion AM Elin Jones has welcomed news that the Labour Welsh Government’s planned £41 million cuts to higher education funding have been reduced to £10 million. The news came in the debate over the budget in the National Assembly, after Elin Jones laid down amendments calling for the Government to reconsider its huge cuts to universities.

Aberystwyth Campus

Plaid Cymru AM for Ceredigion, Elin Jones, said;

“I’m pleased that the Labour Government has bowed to pressure from Plaid Cymru and has reversed some of these cuts. It is astounding that the government was intending to make record cuts to the Higher Education budget without even carrying out an impact assessment or discussing it in cabinet meetings, and this reversal is an admission that it got it wrong.

“The reduction in funding to HEFCW, the body which funds higher education in Wales, would have led to serious cuts in support for academic research, part-time study and Welsh-medium provision. It would have had a major impact in Ceredigion – a constituency with two university campuses.

“The Education Minister threw our universities into panic. His refusal to acknowledge the crisis that he has caused smacks of a deep misunderstanding of the effect that such large cuts would have on our universities. I am pleased that the Higher Education sector has been given some reassurance that the cuts will not be as devastating as they first thought, although the Welsh Government still needs to get to grips with the long-term underfunding of the sector.”

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