Welsh Government Slashes Student Grants

Grants for Wales’s poorest and disabled students are being cut by 15% in real terms, Youth Fight for Jobs has revealed. The Assembly Learning Grant, a means-tested grant which the Welsh Assembly introduced for university students in 2010, is being reduced from £5,600 to £5,000 for students starting in September of this year, as well as for students continuing their studies. The Welsh Government is slashing the Special Support Grant, which aids disabled students, mature and international students, and single parents, by the same amount. The National Bursary Scheme, being re-introduced this year, provides a smaller amount of support to a smaller number of students. Welsh students also face higher tuition fees, higher rates on their student loans and 20% cutbacks in the number of available university places. Edmund Schluessel, a student activist at Cardiff University, said, “NUS Wales called the introduction of ALG a ‘major funding win’ in 2008, but they’ve done nothing to protect it. We need a fighting NUS — not one which watches from the sidelines and waves while the Assembly passes the cuts on to students and young people.” Youth Fight for Jobs Wales demands: * Restore funding to ALG, SSG and the Education Maintenance Allowance, EMA. * Bring back free education — living grants, not loans, for all students! * Link students, the unemployed & workers together for a fighting campaign against all public sector cuts & job losses

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