The Welsh Government has announced that it is providing an extra £10 million of funding to support university students during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The funding will help to support a range of activities, in particular supporting increased mental health services and student financial hardship funds.
Some of the funding will be targeted towards learning support for vulnerable students and those with disabilities or caring responsibilities. Funding will also help to increase capacity in students’ unions and universities to provide advice and support for both students and staff.
The funding comes at a time when many university students have been isolating due to Coronavirus outbreaks on university campuses following the return of students last month.
From Friday 23 October, the whole of Wales will enter a ‘fire-break’ lockdown period, in which people will be required to stay at home (students will have to remain in university student accommodation).
Announcing the funding, Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams said;
“Going away to university can be a difficult time for many students, which has been exacerbated by the current circumstances. It’s been a priority for me to support our universities and students this year in particular.
“Our universities here in Wales are leaders when it comes to student wellbeing. Following the £27m I announced to support our universities this year, this funding will help universities continue their important role of supporting and developing our students.”
The funding has been welcomed by Becky Ricketts, the NUS Wales President. Ms Ricketts described the funding as “a welcome investment in the wellbeing of students across Wales.”
The additional funding will be managed by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).