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Universities Wales response to the Welsh Government draft budget 2017/18

A spokesperson for Universities Wales said “There is a lot of detail to examine in this year’s budget and we are currently in a process of technical discussions with Welsh Government to understand what this means on a practical basis.

“We know that the next few years will be exceptionally tight for public spending, but as a nation we need to think about how we target investment on those sectors that deliver a clear return to Wales’s economy and society and independent evidence has shown that universities deliver a very high return on Welsh Government investment. In 2014 Welsh universities, together with the expenditure of off-campus spending by students and visitors, generated £4.6 billion of output in Wales. The higher education sector is one of Wales’ most valuable industries, creating tens of thousands of jobs and stimulating economic activity in local communities, as well as the wider Welsh economy.”

“We welcomed the recommendations of the Diamond Review and its commitment to finding a sustainable solution for both students and universities. Alongside this support to students, and with the challenges ahead, we must ensure we retain our world class university system in Wales because if our universities are to continue to be a positive force for good for the people and economy of Wales, university funding for key priorities such as quality research, part-time provision and expensive subjects such as medicine, is crucial. We look forward to working with Welsh Government to deliver its aim of early implementation of the recommendations.”