Wales Election 2016

Green Party: No tuition fees for Welsh students in Wales

Amelia Womack. deputy leader of the Green Party

Welsh students studying in Wales would not have to pay tuition fees if the Green Party wins power in the assembly election, its deputy leader has said.

But Amelia Womack told BBC Wales' Sunday Politics Wales programme the party would be looking to Westminster when it came to the fees of Welsh students studying outside Wales.

Students from Wales currently pay £3,810 towards their tuition fees each year, wherever they study in the UK.

The Welsh Government pays the rest.

This can be up to £5,190 a year.

When asked what would happen to Welsh students who want to study elsewhere in the UK, Ms Womack said: "It would be fantastic to help them, but the reality is if we could push that on from a Westminster perspective of free education, that's something we stood for in the General Election.... We need to be able to afford it."

When asked whether these students would be on their own, Ms Womack said: "We want to be able to give that free education elsewhere, but the reality is we cannot do that in a five-year process.

"So although there is that ambition, we realise the constraints of where we are at the moment.... It is a future ambition, but these are our first steps of what we believe we can achieve in these first five years."

Asked about the cost of paying the tuition fees of Welsh students who study in Wales, Ms Womack said her party's manifesto would be out on Tuesday.

Welsh Labour has ruled out means testing for university tuition fee grants in future, if they retain power.

The Welsh Conservatives have said they would scrap tuition fee subsidies and pay half of students' rent instead.

Plaid Cymru would also scrap the grants, and instead pay Welsh students working in Wales after graduation £6,000 a year, up to a maximum of £18,000.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats' policy is to replace tuition fee subsidies with maintenance grants, while UKIP says it would like to cut tuition fees.

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