£50 million to support Welsh universities and colleges

The Welsh Government has announced additional funding of more than £50 million for universities and colleges.

Part of the government’s actions to support students and Wales’ major education institutions and provide the skills and learning in response to the economic impact of the coronavirus, Kirsty Williams, the Education Minister, said that £27 million will be provided to higher education institutions, with £23 million to support students in FE colleges and sixth forms.

The £27 million is to help maintain teaching and research in the 2020 to 2021 academic year, while the funding for further education and sixth forms will be broken down into £15 million for learners beginning their A level or vocational course at an FE college or sixth form, up to £5 million will be provided to support vocational learners to return to college to help them achieve their licence-to-practice qualifications, without needing to re-sit the full year, and an extra £3.2 million will be used to provide digital equipment such as laptops for FE students.

Williams said: “Our universities and colleges here in Wales are world-class, both for their research and for student life. The most recent student survey, published last week, showed yet again that Welsh universities poll ahead of the UK for student satisfaction. Our colleges and universities are stewards of place. Each one across the nation, and working together, will be important in our recovery as they work with schools, business, international partners and public services. So we are supporting these major institutions in Welsh life, so that they can support students of all ages, and keep playing their part in our recovery. We will not have a full picture of the pandemic’s impact on universities until next term, but this funding will provide a vital support to our institutions in their preparations for the autumn.

“Our support for 16-19 age students aims to ensure students beginning courses in September are not disadvantaged by the disruption they faced earlier this year, and is part of our wider measures to ensure we have a skilled workforce that will drive forward the economic recovery from the coronavirus. We will consider the situation and needs again in the autumn, to continue our support for the economic and social recovery from Covid-19.”

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