The Welsh Government has today announced funding for a new bursary scheme to attract Welsh students to do their master’s degrees in Wales.
The scheme aims to increase the number of Welsh graduates who remain in or return to Wales to undertake a master’s degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics or Medicine, also known as ‘STEMM’ subjects. Additional funding will also be available to undertake a master’s degree in Welsh.
Welsh students starting a postgraduate course this autumn can receive up to £17,000 towards their studies and living costs, the most generous student finance package in the UK. Statistics published earlier this year showed a 58% increase in the number of postgraduates applying for student support in Wales.
Just over 2 thirds of Welsh-domiciled postgraduate students currently study in Wales. The Welsh Government aims to increase the numbers to 80% of Welsh students.
Kirsty Williams, the Education Minister, said:
“There are many reasons to study for a postgraduate qualification in Wales, not least our universities’ reputation for excellence in research, consistently high student satisfaction ratings and the most generous support package for post-graduate students in the UK.
“These bursaries are aimed at prospective Master’s students in subject areas where we know there’s a high demand for post-graduate qualifications. Harnessing our post-graduate talent is instrumental for the growth of high-tech industries and the wider economy in Wales.
“Providing incentives for graduates to remain in, or return to, Wales is one of my priorities in meeting Wales’s skills needs. This scheme will support our higher education institutions to incentivise the recruitment of the most talented Welsh students, in line with our Economic Action Plan and my response to the Diamond Review.”
“The additional bursary for Welsh-medium postgraduates is also important to the continued development of the Welsh-speaking workforce, which is essential to achieving our target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050.
£1.3 million will be allocated to the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) for the scheme.
Applications for postgraduate student support for the academic year 2019 to 2020 are now open via the Student Finance Wales website.