Universities: Wales

Department for Education written question – answered on 22nd June 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Finlay of Llandaff Baroness Finlay of Llandaff Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish their modelling relating to controls on numbers of students domiciled in England attending Welsh universities; and whether such modelling recognised the risk of a disproportionate financial impact on Welsh universities as a result of such controls.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and my hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities have regular meetings with Welsh ministers, and ministers from all the devolved administrations, about higher education issues. These discussions have included the development of student number controls policy. The department’s officials also have regular meetings and discussions with their counterparts.

Student number controls are a direct response to the COVID-19 outbreak. They are designed to minimise the impact to the financial threat posed by COVID-19 and they form a key part of the package of measures to stabilise the university admissions system.

These controls are a temporary measure and will be in place for one academic year only. Student number controls for institutions in the devolved administrations only apply to the number of English-domiciled entrants who will be supported with their tuition fees through the Student Loans Company. They are set at a level which will allow every institution to take more first year English students than they took last year. The funding of English-domiciled students is not a devolved matter and it is right and fair that this policy should apply as consistently as possible wherever they are studying in the UK.

Ministers will continue to work closely with the devolved administrations on strengthening and stabilising the higher education system following the COVID-19 outbreak.

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