Following an exchange between the Minister for Education and Bethan Sayed MS, ColegauCymru has welcomed the government’s recognition yesterday that the FE sector has an important part to play in ensuring the continued transformation of student finance reform. The Minister added that going forward, it will be essential for both the FE and HE sectors to work collaboratively rather than competitively.
ColegauCymru Chief Executive Iestyn Davies said,
“We are grateful to Bethan Sayed MS for highlighting the FE budget cuts that have been made in recent years. She confirmed the importance of further education institutions (FEIs) as often HE courses are delivered within FE settings. Ms Sayed echoes the fears of ColegauCymru in that the FE sector has been somewhat forgotten in the debate.”
Wales’ FEIs are not simply teaching facilities. They are community assets providing an essential public service. The elections to the Welsh Parliament in May 2021 offer an ideal opportunity to refocus and refine the unique role and contribution of further education to our learners and the varied and dynamic communities of Wales.
ColegauCymru Director of Policy and Public Affairs Dr Rachel Bowen added,
“Our Policy Asks for the next Welsh Government seek a commitment to increased funding and improved budgeting to enable more effective planning. The needs of our learners remain our primary focus. We are keen to work closely with elected colleagues of the next Welsh government to ensure a level playing field for all post-16 learners to reach their potential.”
Looking ahead, ColegauCymru believes that pressing ahead with the current proposals for tertiary education reform could be an expensive distraction from more pressing priorities.