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UCU responds to Diamond Review

27 September 2016 | last updated: 28 September 2016

UCU has today welcomed the Diamond Review's proposal for greater maintenance support for Welsh university students, but expressed regret that it proposes a new era of higher tuition fee debt.

Responding to Professor Sir Ian Diamond's Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance Arrangements in Wales, the union welcomed the improved maintenance grants which will be beneficial to students, and bolster part-time and postgraduate study.

The union called on other home nations to look at ways to improve the system of student maintenance grants and increase support for part-time students whose numbers have fallen dramatically.

UCU also called on the Welsh government to use any savings to create a genuinely sustainable settlement for further education in Wales, which has seen cuts of over 12% since 2013.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt said: 'We are pleased that the Diamond Review has called for improvements to maintenance support and welcome the proposed £1,000 non-means tested maintenance grant for all full time Welsh domiciled undergraduates along with an income related maintenance grant. It is however a shame that fees are likely to rise and result in increased debts for students on graduating.  

'I hope that the proposals in the Diamond Review will act as a catalyst for other countries in the UK to start an honest and open discussion of how we can ensure that post-16 education is funded both fairly and sustainably in a way that ensures all students are given the opportunity to study and be taught by properly paid staff in institutions across the country.

'We look forward to working with Welsh Government and other stakeholders to create a robust, post 16 sector in Wales that will work for the benefit of all students.'