Tuition fees are to be scrapped in Wales – instead grants will be paid to students whose parents earn less than £59k a year, Barbara Onwumere reports
Students from Wales will get a means-tested maintenance grant of up to £9k a year if they study full-time, Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams has announced.
All students from Wales starting a university course in September 2018 will receive support for living costs equivalent to the National Living Wage, made up of a mixture of means tested grants and loans.
The new system replaces the universal tuition fee grants of £5,100 a year that had been paid to all students in Wales. It follows the review of student finance in Wales by Professor Ian Diamond.
The Diamond review modelled a range of household income thresholds for those eligible for means-tested support. The Welsh Government has decided to set the upper threshold at £59,200.
The minimum grant students will get is £1k, which they do not have to pay back. If studying full-time as an undergraduate, through a mixture of grants and loans, students could be eligible for a maximum of up to £11,250 a year towards your living costs if you live away from home and study in London, and £9k per year in the rest of the UK. Loans and grants are offered on a sliding scale depending on household income.
This means the average Welsh student could receive £7k a year in grant support while they study, with a pro-rata version available to part-time students.
This would mean 70% of Welsh students will be eligible for some form of means-tested grant support, in addition to a universal £1k, with around 35% eligible for the maximum grant. This is an increase of around £8k on current arrangements.