Mum-of-three graduate backs new student support package from Welsh Government

Kayleigh Williams, 26, from Cardiff spent time in foster care as a teenager which interrupted her studies. She had ambitions of going to university but didn’t think she could afford it.

It was when Kayleigh enrolled on an access to higher education course at Cardiff and Vale college she realised that money needn’t be a barrier to going to university.

“At college, they said you need to apply for student loans. It just hadn’t clicked to me before that there was financial help available and that’s how you pay to go to university – that you don’t need to be from a rich background to do it. Sometimes you need it spelling out. Plus, being in and out of care, the information about student finance probably missed me.”

Kayleigh graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2017 with a first-class honours degree in Health and Social Care. She is now going to work with the university on a project to raise the aspirations of children in care, and in September she’ll start a Master’s degree in teaching as she builds a career as an educational psychologist.

Kayleigh says:

“If you don’t invest in yourself to progress and develop, how are you going to get anywhere in life?

I’ll be an educational psychologist and my university debt I can slowly pay back. It’s not a bank loan and there won’t be bailiffs threatening to take your stuff. I think it needs to be appreciated a bit more just how much help there is. I couldn’t have gone to university without it. 

People research in detail where they’re going on holiday yet with something as life-changing as university, they don’t look into the detail. But you’re going to university to learn, so learning what financial help is available should be key.

Don't let money get in the way of university

From September 2018, eligible first time undergraduates will get comprehensive support to help fund their day-to-day living costs during term time, regardless of where in the UK they choose to study.