Wales formulates new formula to help the poorest students
University of Wales Prifygol Cymru- The knowledge review

Welsh undergraduates from the poorest families will receive maintenance grants of up to £ 11,000 a year in return for taking on the full cost of university tuition fees, as Wales overhauls its student funding. The new regime will allow students from families earning under £ 18,000 a year or who had previously been in care, receiving up to 8,000 in grants, which is equivalent to the “national living wage”, based on 37.5 hours a week over a 30-week academic year.

The government is going to largely adopt the recommendations of a review of student funding, which argued that the current regime failed to directly help those from the worst-off households.

The existing universal tuition fee grant which costs about £250m a year had been available to all Welsh students, including those who travelled to other parts of the UK to study. The Welsh government estimates that about 70% of students will be eligible for a portion of the means-tested grants, with the level of benefit tapered down to a maximum income of £59,000.It will also be available to part-time and post-graduate students as well as those studying full-time.

All students will receive a universal maintenance grant of £1,000, regardless of their family income. Students studying in London would receive a 25% boost to their maintenance grants. This way the students from the poorest families would receive a maximum of £11,000.

Prof Ian Diamond, vice-chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, has outlined the new funding formula in a review commissioned by the Welsh government. However, the launch of this new formula depends upon the government’s consultation, Treasury approval and the ability of the Student Loans Company.

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