Wales unveils means-tested university grants of up to £11,000 a year
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.
Kirsty Williams, Wales’s education secretary, announced that the country’s universal £5,100 tuition grant is to be scrapped and replaced with a mix of generous means-tested benefits and loans based on students’ family incomes from September 2018.
“We are looking to introduce the most generous and progressive system anywhere in the UK. If you want to go to university, this system will allow you to do so,” said Williams, the sole Liberal Democrat cabinet member in the Cardiff assembly’s coalition government.
“I am proud to confirm our intention to deliver the first system in the UK that is consistent, progressive and fair in its support for full- and part-time undergraduates, and for postgraduate students,” she said.
The new regime, which will apply only to students ordinarily resident in Wales, will see students from families earning under £18,000 a year, or who had previously been in care, receiving up to £8,000 in grants, a figure equivalent to the “national living wage”, based on 37.5 hours a week over a 30-week academic year.