"The arms that you wield now are not such as your forefathers wielded; but they are infinitely more effective, and infinitely more irresistable" ~ Cymru Fydd leaflet, 1890

Tuesday 19 March 2013

The 'end of' Leighton Andrews.

Once again the subject of tuition fees are in the headlines again as the BBC pushes the story of Welsh university students having their tuition fees subsidised. The problem though is that it isn't just Welsh students studying in Welsh universities that are being subsidised by the Welsh Labour Government. They are also subsidising those students who go on to study in England and the rest of the UK.
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Imagine you have two shops, one either side of the border. Both sell bread for 85p and you have a Welsh Government voucher for '50p off a loaf of bread' that can be used in either shop. You might not be that fussed which shop you used. In this example the Welsh Government is subsidising the English shop by 50p a loaf. If they were to make it so that the voucher could only be used in the Welsh shop then naturally more people would opt for the cheaper option. Not everyone would of course, but that would be their choice. The Welsh shop would still get the 85p but the Welsh customer would be only paying 35p whilst the Welsh Government will be paying the remaining 50p.

This is exactly what is happening with the university fees. Instead of 50p though, we're talking around £5000 per person per term. Flowing out of Wales and into English, Scottish and Northern Irish universities.

It's no wonder the Welsh universities are getting rather fed up. And they're not the only ones it would appear. An early morning tweet from Leighton Andrews shows that he's a bit miffed at the temerity of the BBC. How dare they run a story about education in Wales.

Leightons tweet
Insightful huh? There was no link to facts and figures, not even so much as a graphic or a pie chart. Instead of using something that could irrefutably prove what he was saying he decided to go down the 'man in the pub' route of debating, end of. He might as well have said 'our policy is affordable, FACT!'

When questioned by a Tory he went on to say this.
Another tweet
This struck me as being quite odd. There are people advocating that Welsh students ought to only be subsidised when attending Welsh universities. But Leighton appears to believe this would mean that students would then have to spend £9000 by having to go to a non Welsh university, but why? Why would they have to when they could use a subsidised Welsh university? To me this sounds like Leighton believes that Welsh universities simply aren't good enough for Welsh students. And when faced with the prospect of only paying £3500 a term to study at a Welsh university in Wales they would have to study at a non Welsh university instead.

Very odd, either Welsh universities are good enough or they are not. It would appear that the Education Minister for the Welsh Labour Government doesn't believe they are, end of!

Edit 29/3/13 - I've noticed the search term "Leighton Andrews Blog" coming up on my site stats a fair bit. And after googling it I found that this page was the 4th result. So, since google relies on the text on the page for it's search results I just wanted to use the words "Leighton Andrews Blog" a couple of times to see if I cant get this result a little higher. It's all fun and game, unless you're destroying our education system of course.

Tweet how bad Welsh universities are.


  1. The End of Leighton Andrews? Let's hope so.....

  2. I agree with you Stuart. LA doesn't want Welsh uni's to succeed. Labour only like to run down Wales - take Carwyn's attitude to Cardiff airport when he said he'd never use it for travelling. It's time people woke up and realised the Labour party is making Wales a third/fourth world country.

    1. It's my belief that Labour in Wales' sole job is to sabotage Wales as best they can without making it too obvious. Of course this is hard to prove, but then it's even harder to disprove.

  3. Think he had a point about the airport though. Serious need for investment. Went through it last week and simply didn't want to be there. Current owners have let it rot.

  4. Is it not also the case that it isn't Welsh students, but students from Wales - which includes students of other rnationalities (including English)

    1. That's kind of what I meant.