Welsh Higher Education Finances In 'Sound Health' And Tuition Fees Policy Well Implemented

21 Nov 2013 - 5:58pm

But appraisal of policy options was limited and estimated costs have increased, says Auditor General

The finances of Welsh higher education institutions are generally in sound health and, overall, both the Welsh Government and Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) have implemented policy around raising tuition fees effectively. That's the conclusion of a new report by the Auditor General for Wales. But, it also found that the Welsh Government could have done more to appraise policy options around tuition fees in late 2010, before putting the current arrangements in place from the start of the 2012/13 academic year, and that estimated costs have increased since the time the policy was announced.

The report, published today, recognised that the Welsh Government considered that it needed to respond quickly to the UK Government's decision to introduce higher tuition fees in England. But it found limitations in the way the Welsh Government appraised its policy options, such as the extent to which it considered potential changes in its assumptions, including the tuition fee rates that institutions were likely to charge and the overall number and cross border flow of students.