Higher Education and Research

For years, Plaid Cymru has been raising concerns about the higher education sector, warning that it is in crisis and in need of urgent support. We have done so because we recognise the important role of universities within our communities, in attracting students and staff and supporting the local economy and supply chain through realising our young people’s talents.

Recognising the severe challenges facing the sector, we will work to expand the numbers studying at Welsh universities, attracting greater numbers of Welsh-domiciled students as well as retaining the current number of UK and overseas students will result in a net increase of overall students.

We will work with the sector and the Coleg Cenedlaethol to support personalised and flexible pathways into Higher Education through increased recognition of learning achieved elsewhere, and through promotion of short courses. These new pathways will help meet workforce training needs and also offering enriching policies for lifelong learning and community renewal. In line with developments across Europe, we will prioritise areas that promote economic and social sustainability.

We will also increase Government investment in Research and Development. We would seek to devolve Wales’s share of UK Research and Innovation expenditure and for a block grant to be allocated based on population, and overseen rigorously to ensure Wales’s continued role as a producer of leading internationally recognised research with impact on life in Wales and beyond.

Our ambition remains to make University education free again for all, and we will work with Universities to develop a plan to make them financially viable so that this can become a genuine option.

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