Welsh anger over English bursaries

Student social workers in Wales are missing out on vital funding to
help pay for their studies.

Many are angry because English students are receiving bursaries of
about £3,000, while in Wales students are forced to take out
loans and work part time to foot the bill.

Bursaries for Welsh students will not be available until next year,
when the new social work degree begins in Wales.

Caryl Rees, 23, already has a degree but is now taking the two-year
DipSW programme in Cardiff. She said most of her fellow students
were angry and disappointed.

“Our English counterparts are already receiving bursaries this year
with the introduction of the new social work degree,” she said,
emphasising that some were bringing their bursaries to Wales to
study alongside Welsh social work students who have no such

“We understand that they are getting an additional £3,000 a
year, but we are having to take out the equivalent debt to carry on
with our studies,” she said.

Welsh assembly social services minister Jane Hutt said social work
was “important and valuable work” and pledged that a funding scheme
would be launched in Wales to coincide with the introduction of new
degree level training in an attempt to encourage people to enter
the profession.

She said: “From 2004, payments of £2,500 a year of study will
be available for each student. They will also have the chance to
have their fees paid up to a maximum of £1,100 and to claim
travelling expenses.

“Students who are starting or already on the diploma or the new
social work degree will also be eligible to apply for
non-means-tested funding.”

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