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The Diamond Review and more Support for Students

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Jenny Rathbone welcomes additional support for student living costs, as is recommended in Sir Ian Diamond's review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance Arrangements.

The report emphasised the need to help poorer students, stating that 'in the twenty first century, an education system is needed that minimises the attainment gap between rich and poor and enables pathways through to the higher level skills that are the lifeblood of the kind of nation to which Wales aspires'.

Jenny said -

"The maximum grant of £5,161 for the poorest students does not even cover the rent in some Cardiff student halls. It is neither good for the student nor society if students are dropping out of university or failing to achieve the academic award that reflects their ability simply because they do not have enough to eat".

Jenny asked the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams, what discussions she had had with the Department of Work and Pensions about part time students and benefits. Jenny is particularly concerned for those with young children who want to go back to university, and whether they would be eligible for part-time benefits, on the grounds that they are part-time students.

In addition, Jenny highlighted the issue concerning the privatisation of the Students Loan Company. It is worrying for students if they do not know the extent of their debt or how much it is going to increase to. Kirsty Williams assured the Chamber that the Student Loan Company would have to accommodate the new system before any decisions were made.

Cardiff Central, represented by Jenny Rathbone, has the highest number of students of any constituency across the UK.

You can watch Jenny's speech here:

http://www.senedd.tv/Meeting/Clip/ab370700-10eb-4c1c-a916-c7233f2c7c8c?inPoint=1:53:15&outPoint=1:55:47

You can read the final report of the Diamond Review here:

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Jenny Rathbone | Assembly Member for Cardiff Central

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