Extra £50million for universities and colleges ahead of the new term

(Title Image: Senedd Cymru)

The Welsh Government announced an additional £50million for universities, further education colleges and sixth-forms to deal with challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

£27million will be used by universities to minimise job losses, support projects to aid the economic recovery and provide additional financial support for students facing hardships.

The remainder – £23million – will be granted to colleges and sixth-forms to provide extra support for A-Level and AS-Level students who will have missed class-time during the school closure period. The money will also go towards ensuring vocational students can receive licence-to-practice qualifications without requiring a re-sit.

Education Minister, Kirsty Williams (Lib Dem, Brecon & Radnor) said: “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.”

Universities have warned they face serious financial problems, while FE colleges have complained about a lack of information forthcoming from the Welsh Government on how they should reopen this month.

Plaid Cymru called for a decision to be made urgently on the timetable for the 2020-21 external exams. They also called for a clear plan to be put in place to deal with further disruption to learning if a second wave of the pandemic prompts another lockdown.