Lack of Funding Should Not Stand in the Way of University Ambitions; EDUCATION WALES A MINISTER'S VIEW
Byline: Jane Hutt
THOSE who invest time and effort in gaining a degree or other higher-level qualifications are ultimately well rewarded for their commitment, statistics show.
Not only does the experience and knowledge gained open up many life-enhancing horizons but, on average, graduates in Wales can expect to earn 46% more during their careers than counterparts who finish formal education at A-level.
However, gaining a degree isn't just a test of someone's intellect and tenacity, it's also a considerable challenge to the finances of individuals and their families.
As an Assembly Government, one of our key objectives has been to ensure this funding challenge is manageable for everyone who sets their sights on higher education.
There are reasons why university might not be the chosen route for everyone, but finance should not be one of those reasons.
It's vital, therefore, that anyone with such ambitions should explore all avenues of financial support open to them.
Some might not be aware of the potential increased earning power a degree can bring, while others may be deterred by a feeling that the expense is completely beyond their means. Neither is right.
Depending on individual circumstances, there are a myriad of opportunities to secure the funds needed to embark on this major educational journey. In this respect there has probably never been a better time to choose to study in Wales.
Most people will have read in the media about university top-up fees across the UK. However, for students normally resident in Wales who choose to stay and study here, there is a fee grant of up to pounds 1,845 to offset the increase in tuition fees.
To avoid having to pay upfront for the cost of higher education all students - irrespective of where they decide to study - can apply for a student loan to cover living costs and other expenses. …