Friday, 31 August 2012

At it again

The Tories were at it again this week, criticising the Welsh Government’s arithmetic over tuition fees.  Whilst the figures have not worked out in line with the assumptions made, it simply doesn’t follow that the government was wrong to make the assumptions that it did.
Given that the situation regarding student fees was an entirely new one – as a result of the huge hike in fees imposed by the Tories and Liberal Democrats in England – no one knew for certain what the effect would be on total student numbers, let alone on cross-border transfers.  So the government had no choice – whatever policy it adopted – but to make some “guesstimates”; and they set those at what they thought was the right level based on such knowledge as was available.
If the Tories have some basis for claiming that the estimates could have been closer to the eventual actuals, let’s hear it.  To date, I see nothing from them on that.  And if they have no basis for making such a claim, then criticising the Welsh government for the gap between their best estimates and the actuals is just hot air and headline seeking.
Whilst they seem happy to do that, and to criticise the Welsh Government’s fees policy ad nauseam, they never seem to say much about their own preferred alternative, which is to hike fees for Welsh students to match those in England.  I wonder why?

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