Welsh Government to raise student maintenance support by almost 10 per cent for 2023-24

Loans will be increased by 9.4 per cent, allowing qualifying students to claim up to £11,720

The Welsh Government is set to increase student maintenance loans for qualifying Welsh students by 9.4 per cent for the 2023-24 academic year, allowing full-time students to claim a maximum of £11,720. 

The increase will apply to full-time and part-time higher education students who began a course on or after 1st August 2018 and the household income thresholds for claiming maintenance loan support will not change.  

The increase does not however apply to postgraduates, with postgraduate support and the doctoral loan amount increasing only by 1.8 per cent. 

In light of the ongoing cost of living crisis that has affected students, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles said: “Living costs should never be a barrier to studying at university. This increase in support will ensure that students from all backgrounds are able to access higher education.”

The Welsh Government has also recently announced £2.3 million in funding for student mental health and well-being services in order to help students dealing with distress as a result of the increasing cost of living. The funding will also allow for the improvement of money advice services in higher education, including for those making the move to university for the first time. 

Students from England will see their maintenance loans increase by 2.8 per cent, giving them an average increase of only £200. The Department for Education has also given an extra £15 million to be distributed to university hardship funds within England. 

Maintenance loans in England vary by household income and location, ranging from £3,400 to £12,600 with only a third of students qualifying for maximum support living away from home outside London, worth £9,700. The average maintenance loan in 2020-21 was around £7,000 per year.

Orla Tarn, President of the National Union of Students Wales, said that they were delighted the Welsh government had decided to “deviate from the pitiful 2.8 per cent rise” offered in England and noted that: “Many students in Wales are not from Wales and still rely on the maintenance loan support offered by other UK nations, which should follow Wales’ lead as soon as possible”.

Feature Image Credit: Google Earth

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