Wefan Gymraeg

Brexit: Higher and Further Education in Wales

By Louis Urruty, Mar 20, 2019 5:03

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have consistently highlighted the damage that Brexit will do to Wales. The Party is committed to a People’s Vote, giving people the final say and an opportunity to choose an Exit from Brexit.

Universities and colleges have been clear about the value of the European Union to them. Their representatives have been particularly vocal in the need to avoid a no-deal Brexit, which so many in the Conservative Party continue to support.

Today the National Assembly for Wales has discussed the impact of Brexit on higher and further education, following a report from the Children, Young People and Education Committee.

Kirsty Williams - the Welsh Liberal Democrat Education Minister - has agreed with the risk posed to these sectors. She has outlined some of the steps she is taking to mitigate this, which have included:

  • Guaranteeing that EU students will continue to be eligible for financial support at Welsh universities.
  • Announcing £6.6million in funding for higher education research, while Brexit threatens access to European research networks.
  • Convening and chairing a meeting of University Ministers across the UK, opening dialogue and seeking to secure clarity for our universities. These have now become recurring meetings.
  • Opposing the Conservatives’ plans to count students in migration statistics.
  • Continuing to support Global Wales, which promotes Welsh universities in priority overseas markets.
  • Launching a pilot scheme to help Welsh students study abroad.

Kirsty is working to ensure Wales’ education system can cooperate with its neighbours and those further afield to deliver the best for the people of Wales. An outward-facing education system allows students to expand their horizons and allows colleges and universities to maximise their potential.

The Conservatives’ reckless approach to Brexit is bad for higher education and it is bad for further education. The Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to demand better.

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