Pontypridd Assembly Member, Mick Antoniw has welcomed the Welsh Government’s increase in financial support for Welsh postgraduate students from this September.

 The support available to someone beginning postgraduate Master’s study in the 2019-20 academic year will be £17,000, up from £13,000 in 2018-19.

The finance package will include a grant for eligible students of £1,000, plus additional means-tested support of up to £5,885. A loan is also available, taking the overall support up to £17,000 across the duration of the course. The support will be available to both full-time and part-time students.

The announcement comes following the review of higher education funding and student finance, which recommended that postgraduate Master’s study should be supported by a similar finance package to undergraduates.

As with support for undergraduate study, care-leavers aged under 25 years will automatically receive the maximum grant support.

Kirsty Williams, the Education Minister, said:

“This is great news for graduates considering taking their academic career to the next level by studying for a Master’s Degree.

“High-quality education is a driving force for social mobility, national prosperity and an engaged democracy. Academic progression is good for individual development, for diversifying entry into the professions and for our economic well-being.

“I want to build on the success our universities have seen in recruiting and retaining Welsh postgraduate students in 2018-19. I am also considering how I can best provide an incentive to our universities so they can continue to attract the most talented Welsh students.”

“One of my key ambitions as Education Minister has been to increase the number of Welsh students who progress onto Master’s study, which I believe is the next big challenge in improving social mobility.”

Louise Casella, Director of The Open University in Wales, said:

“Postgraduate opportunities are vital in addressing Wales’ skills needs both now and in the future. With an increasing number of graduates it is more important than ever that postgraduate options are as accessible as possible. Today’s announcement is great news for those who wish to continue their studies and develop their skills which will in turn make a significant contribution to the Welsh economy.”