Home » Bay plans ‘to consult’ on postgraduate funding

Bay plans ‘to consult’ on postgraduate funding

The Diamond Review: Making recommendations in 2016
The Diamond Review: Making recommendations in 2016

THE WELSH GOVERNMENT is expected to make an announcement on changes to postgraduate funding for Welsh students.
The UK Government already taking steps to ensure that higher education students from England will receive student finance to study for postgraduate qualifications in Wales.
The Herald contacted the Welsh Government regarding the difference in approach between it and the UK Government on the issue. We pointed out that Welsh students studying for postgraduate qualifications in Wales will not be eligible for the support offered to English students. In fact, Welsh students would be eligible for no student finance support, no matter where they were studying.
A Welsh Government spokesperson told The Herald: “There is currently no statutory support for post graduate study for Welsh students but the Welsh Government plans to consult on proposals for post graduate support next year.
“The Diamond Review will also make its recommendations in 2016. Other sources of support are currently available such as university post graduate bursaries/scholarships. Students can contact their chosen university to see what help, if any, they can offer. Information about the current student support package can be accessed at www.studentfinancewales. co.uk”
In order to bridge the inequality of treatment at postgraduate level, the Welsh Government will have to make an announcement very early in 2016, if Welsh students are not to be left high and dry for the academic year 2016/17 and Welsh Universities are not to lose out.
In the spending review and autumn budget statement, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced significant changes to the student finance regime for English students who wish to study for higher degrees.
In an extension to the existing student finance settlement, the UK Government is now committed to introduce a master’s loan scheme from 2016, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study.
The Minister of State for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson MP, said: ‘’A postgraduate Master’s qualification can help people advance their careers and provide invaluable skills to support our innovation and growth. We want anyone who has the ability to study at this level, regardless of their circumstances, to be able do so. We are offering a new postgraduate Master’s loans of up to £10,000 to help more people do just that.”
The UK Government is also committed to the introduction of income contingent loans for Doctoral study. Its intention is to offer these loans in addition to grant funding, not as a replacement.
Dr David Blaney, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, said: “We expect to see more postgraduate students as the proportion of graduates in the population grows. Postgraduate students bring a high level of knowledge and skills into the economy and postgraduate courses are an excellent choice for career progression.
“Our commitment to widening access to higher education also recognises the importance of postgraduate study in ensuring fair access to the professions and higher-level skills. The devolved administrations are currently considering potential options for their own postgraduate loan schemes from the 2016/17 academic year.”