Wales Provides the Best Student Care in the UK
While most reports in the recent news have been about England and the recent implementation of the 9,000-pound tuition fee (whereas up until 2012, English students had enjoyed free university schooling), a recent report decided to cover which of the United Kingdoms had the best education and student care programs. This report, which gathered date from all the different parts of the UK and based its conclusions on both the currently implemented programs and policies as well as the planned funding systems for the fiscal 2014-2015 year, has concluded that Wales provides the best student care through programs that correspond to income, background and need. The study was conducted throughout the earlier part of this year and released last week by the Institute of Fiscal Studies.
Students who have an income of lower that 18,000 pounds are entitled to cost-of-living grants of 5,161 pounds—almost triple of Scotland’s 1,750 pounds and significantly higher than the maximum grants given in England, which is at around 3,475 pounds. Furthermore, the ceiling for students to stop qualifying for student aid and grants is much higher in Wales than elsewhere in the UK—to be able to be disqualified from availing of student aid and grants, one must have an income of more than 50,000 pounds. In the UK, the ceiling in Scotland is the lowest, at 34,000. The Welsh student care program is also different in that they only need to take out 3,685 pounds for their student fees and the rest is paid for, debt-free, making Welsh students also the least likely to incur student debt.
This sets Wales as a prime example of how student care programs can help students achieve a University degree. Jamie Evans, 21 and a third year student at Aberystwyth University says that the student care programs have made all the difference—otherwise he would definitely not have been able to enroll or maintain his status at University, given the UK’s cost of living.
Rosa Brown, 20 and a student at Cardiff University says that not a lot of people take the time to know the different policies that surround this benefit for students in Wales and that this is also how she was able to maintain her status at Cardiff, which has recently implemented a tuition fee: keeping in the know.
Francesca Hashemi, 19, who is in her fourth year at the University of West Scotland says that she deeply envies the Welsh student care program. Her current student bursary is only set at 750 pounds, whereas a lot of the Welsh students that she has encountered have liberal bursaries of around 3,000 to 5,000 pounds to cover their cost of living.
The Welsh student care also caters to mature or post-graduate studies, giving the extra grand options should they decide to want to pursue further education. Rhodri Davies-Camplin, a 26-year-old from Pemrbokeshire, Wales recently left his job at a consultancy firm as a junior consultant to pursue a Post Graduate College Education at the Swansea Metropolitan University. He says it’s this liberal grant policy and the supportiveness of his university that really helped him be able to pursue his post graduate degree full-time. Without it, he says that he never would have been able to quit his job and focus. He also adds that the Wales student care programs often send out leaflets which suggest work-at-home means of employments to help students earn extra cash.
The report also features many such reports from Welsh students who are grateful for the way that their student care and education system is run. Wales currently stands as an example to the rest of the UK for student care that helps support students to the best of its abilities.