THE PRIORITY for the Welsh Government and Wales’ Oxbridge Ambassador should be to support and improve Welsh universities so their reputations grow internationally, according to Mid and West AM Simon Thomas.
Low self-esteem and a lack of academic self-confidence are among the factors limiting the number of Welsh pupils applying to Oxford and Cambridge, according to Wales’ Oxbridge Ambassador, Paul Murphy MP.
A report by the Oxbridge Ambassador for Wales finds many students still believe that they lack some specialist knowledge required to successfully apply to universities in Oxford and Cambridge.
The Party of Wales Shadow Education Minister Simon Thomas said:
“The priority for the Welsh Government and Paul Murphy as the MP for Torfaen should be to support and improve Welsh universities so their reputations grow internationally.
“If I was Education Minister my priority would to get the brightest students from Wales to study at the best universities world-wide not just Oxbridge.
“We know fewer students from Wales proportionally get places at Oxbridge than from the English shires. This says more about the Oxbridge colleges’ attitudes than it does about the quality of Welsh students.
“Though I wish Paul Murphy well in his work, I find I do feel that this report is a side issue given the size of challenges we face in Wales to break the gap between poverty and educational attainment which in turn is reflected in Welsh students’ applications to the highest performing universities
“We already know that students studying outside Wales can mean less money for Welsh universities because of the way the Welsh Government currently funds Higher Education. Wales is putting £34m into universities in the rest of UK. This is why Plaid Cymru consulted on its policy for the next Welsh Government post 2016.”