£5,500 follows Welsh students to Bristol
Wales could be left with second-rate universities unless ministers change how students are funded, a finance body head fears.
Students from Wales pay the first £3,500 of tuition fees but the Welsh government picks up the tab for the rest wherever they study in the UK.
The amount "leaving" Wales to English universities is about £90m this year.
Dr David Blaney, head of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, said it means less money is available to invest in Welsh colleges.
Student Rhodri Moyle, from Carmarthen, studies at the University of the West of England in Bristol. He says the Welsh government paying most of his fees gives him the freedom to choose where to study.
16 Feb 2015