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Kirsty Williams: EU students and staff welcome at Welsh universities

Welsh Education Secretary Kirsty Williams has said that EU students and staff are welcome and valued at universities across Wales amid concerns raised in the aftermath of the referendum.

Speaking ahead of her tour of Swansea University's £450 million Science and Innovation campus, she has celebrated the "long and proud tradition of European students coming to Swansea."

Now we face uncertainty and worry following the recent referendum. I want to be clear that students and staff from across the European Union are still welcome at Swansea University, indeed they are welcome at all Welsh Universities. Those already studying here, and those who are planning to come are still welcome, our places of learning are still there for you.

Let me be clear, we will not tolerate any form of racial abuse whether on our campuses or within the wider communities in which we are rooted. Welsh universities will continue to recruit and teach students from the EU and the wider world. The Welsh Government is determined to protect Wales' reputation as a friendly and tolerant place to study and carry out world-class research. Whatever the long-term implication of the vote, we remain an outward looking and welcoming nation where we are committed to sharing knowledge across national borders.

– Kirsty Williams, Welsh Education Secretary


General Election 'pivotal moment' for education

The Labour party says the General Election will be a pivotal moment for education here and across the UK.

Even though it's a devolved matter, the Education Minister Huw Lewis claims the election is a choice between two visions for education, arguing that the Conservatives would constrain the life chances of young people, whilst Labour would invest in them.

Are we going to continue down the road of austerity and shrink the budget for public services year on year and the inevitable fall out for that in education will be constrained life chances for our young people, or are we going to make sure that we priorities the life chances of our young people?

– Huw Lewis AM, Education Minister

The Tories meanwhile argue Labour have let down young people here, claiming Welsh schools trail behind others in Europe.

Less is spent on education here in Wales than it is in England, and that's a Labour choice to make that decision - we want to see more spent at the pupils at the sharp end so that the teachers can get the best out of those pupils.

– Alun Cairns, Conservatives

Welsh Secretary: Education record 'much bigger scandal' than health service

The Welsh Secretary has launched an attack on Labour's education record in Wales saying it's a 'much bigger scandal' than its handling of the health service.

Conservative MP Stephen Crabb made the comments in an interview with The Sunday Times.

He added that parents in England have 'good reason to feel very concerned' if the Labour party come into power in Westminster after the general election.

A spokesman for the Education Minister in Wales, Huw Lewis said standards are on the up and criticised the Tory party for putting Welsh teachers and pupils 'in the firing line'.

"This is simply the latest salvo in the war on Wales. Not content with denigrating our NHS, now the Tories are putting Welsh teachers and pupils in the firing line.

"All the latest evidence says that education reforms in England are stalling, whilst standards in Wales are improving."

– Spokesman for the Education Minister

In October, the Welsh Government dropped its target to be in the top 20 places of international education league tables by next year.

Read more: Colour-coded ratings: Where do your schools rank?

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