Welsh postgraduates feel ‘forgotten’ by increased student loans

The decision to up undergraduate student’s maintenance loans has received mixed reactions.

From September, undergraduate students’ loans will be increased by 9.4%. This means that the average amount a full-time student in Wales can claim will increase from £10,710 to £11,720.

However, the increased student funding does not apply to postgraduate students, who will only see a slight rise of 1.8%.

Micaela Panes, a PhD student at Cardiff University says “the majority of postgrad research students are being left behind or forgotten, and are receiving very little in terms of support from the Welsh government, the university or even the student union”.

“PhD students really are the backbone of the research community, and so many of us go on to work for the Welsh government or in civil service. If you want us to continue to produce this cutting edge research, then for the love of God, please support us with some more money. We can’t afford to continue.”

While the National Union of Students say they are “delighted that the Welsh Government has chosen to support its students”.

Orla Tarn, President of the union, says they also understand that “much more needs to be done”.

“While we’ve secured a significant increase for undergraduate students, the impacts aren’t limited to just undergraduates”.

“I think its a real shame to have such disparity there. There is ongoing work to be done. The conversation is never going to be over”.

In a statement from the Welsh government, Jeremy Miles MS, Minster for Education says “living costs should never be a barrier to studying at university. The increase in support I am announcing today will ensure that students from all backgrounds are able to access higher education”.