Education Minister ‘disagrees strongly’ with UK Gov cap on English students in Wales

Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams

Wales’ Education Minister has said that she is “considering her options” following a meeting with the UK Government’s Education Minister on capping the number of English students in Wales.

Kirsty Williams said that she “disagree[s] strongly with England’s approach on this matter” following the UK government’s plan to control the number of students from England who can study in Wales.

The Department for Education in England is expected to confirm a cap on the number of undergraduates each university can recruit this autumn in a bid to stop some institutions taking the lions’ share.

But they also want to impose the same limits on Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, despite higher education policy being devolved to individual governments.

“I respect decision making in and for England, just as I do for the other governments in the UK,” Kirsty Williams said.

“Quite simply, I expect the same respect from the minister.”

 

‘Challenges’

The Scottish Government has also urged Westminster to reconsider the cap. Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead said he would raise concerns about the UK Government’s plans to cap student numbers.

In a call with UK Universities Minister Michelle Donelan, he will urge her to rethink the proposal, which has not been discussed with the devolved administrations.

Mr Lochhead said: “Like many other sectors, universities are facing significant challenges as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Devolved administrations and the UK Government should be working together to address these common issues.

“Yet here we have UK ministers, without any consultation, planning to erect barriers that would pile further difficulties upon Scottish universities, as well as those in Wales and Northern Ireland.”

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