A short week because of the Bank Holiday but a busy one nonetheless!
Keir Starmer promised in 2020 that if he became PM, he would scrap tuition fees but he has now dropped this pledge. I asked whether the Welsh Government support their Westminster colleagues' decision to let students down? https://fb.watch/kpPt80cuJP/
I spoke on ITV’s Sharp End about how Plaid-led councils are leading on initiatives that bring people into town centres. We need to see action being taken on a national level so that all communities benefit. I believe that town centres in Neath, Bridgend and elsewhere are a vital part of our communities. Watch here: Sharp End, May 2nd | Wales Programmes (itv.com)
The working conditions of university staff are the learning conditions of students. UCU Wales have described the intention of higher education institutions in Wales to cut the salaries of staff who are participating in the assessment and marking boycott as punitive, aggressive and disproportionate. I urged the Education Minister to encourage vice-chancellors in Wales to rethink, and for the Universities and Colleges Employers Association to return to the negotiating table. https://fb.watch/kpQohnTO3C/
Lisa, a Ukrainian student at Swansea University, that got in touch with me because she had not heard whether her visa was to be extended to allow her to continue her studies at Swansea University. I raised the matter in the Senedd this week and it was great to hear that Lisa has just been informed that her visa to live and study in the UK has been extended.
I have previously had the pleasure of meeting Lisa, a hard-working student who is very happy to be living in Swansea, especially given her passion for the poems of Dylan Thomas. It was completely unfair for the UK to leave Lisa in this uncertain situation. The UK Government needs to ensure that all refugees from Ukraine and other countries facing war or disaster are welcome here and that they do not have to face any delays in hearing back about their application. I have also called on the Welsh Government to do all in its power to save students like Lisa from suffering more anxiety and uncertainty about their future as they try and continue with their studies in Wales. Wales is a nation of sanctuary and I am proud that we are welcoming Lisa to her new home.
Sioned, Daniel and Lisa