Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language
We are committed to doing everything we can to support people fleeing the war in Ukraine and providing sanctuary and safety in Wales, including supporting those who wish to continue or commence studies.
We will be making amendments to our student support regulations to enable a person, who has permission to stay under the UK Government’s visa schemes for Ukrainian nationals and their family members, to access student support, home fee status, and the undergraduate tuition fee cap. The Ukraine Visa Schemes include the Ukraine Family Scheme, Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine), and the Ukraine Extension Scheme for existing Ukrainian nationals or immediate family members who were already in the UK under a different visa route.
Regulations are due to be laid in July and subject to Senedd Cymru approval, it is envisaged that students will be able to access student finance for their studies from 1 August 2022. Students will need to meet certain eligibility criteria.
Providing access to student support is crucial to enabling people seeking sanctuary in Wales to attend a course of higher education to ensure they can aspire to the future, improve their skills, and enhance their well-being. By extending support to students arriving from Ukraine we hope to offer some stability and assurance at this difficult time and provide equity of access for refugees and those seeking sanctuary in Wales.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank our universities, who have been extremely responsive to the humanitarian crisis, and supportive of the Welsh Government’s Nation of Sanctuary. They have continued to work collaboratively with agencies such as the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) and Universities of Sanctuary to ensure that support for those fleeing war, conflict and persecution can find a place of academic safety in Wales.
Any person seeking sanctuary wishing to start a course of higher education in the autumn term, should speak directly to their chosen university admissions office as soon as possible. The normal admissions process for September 2022 is already well underway but universities are able to offer advice and support for anyone wishing to study in Wales.
We are determined to do everything we can to give people seeking sanctuary from Ukraine the warmest welcome possible and we want to ensure students arriving here have the support they need to start or continue their higher and further education.