Wales

Welsh student fees and grants timeline as Diamond review out

Protesters from Cardiff calling for a higher student grant in 1979
Image caption Protesters from Cardiff calling for a higher student grant in 1979

Student finance has been an issue on campuses in Wales for well over half a century. Here is a look back at how higher education has been funded, leading up to this latest landmark development.

1962 - Education Act requires all local authorities to give maintenance grants to students going to university - many already provide such support

1984 - Conservative government drops plans to ask parents to pay towards tuition fees

Image copyright PA
Image caption Student loans were introduced in 1990

1990 - Maintenance grants are frozen, with student loans introduced to offer extra financial help

1997 - Dearing report on university funding says students will have to pay towards the cost of tuition

1998 - Labour government introduces upfront, means-tested tuition fees of up to £1,000 a year across the UK and replaces maintenance grants with loans

2000 - University vice-chancellors launch a review of fees and funding after protests against "student poll tax"

Image caption Students picking up grant and loan cheques

2001 - UK Education Secretary David Blunkett rejects universities' proposal for "top-up" fees of up to £6,000 a year

2002 - Welsh Assembly Government brings back student grants of up to £1,500 a year

2006 - Variable top-up fees of up to £3,000 a year are introduced by universities in England, with Wales following in 2007. Fees are subsidised for Welsh students at Welsh universities, who will pay no more than £1,175 a year.

Image caption Swansea students protest over fee rises in 2010

2010 - Student protests follow UK coalition government announcement that fees can rise to £9,000 a year. But the Welsh Government says it will meet any extra cost above the existing maximum - then £3,250 - for students from Wales at any UK university

2013 - Prof Sir Ian Diamond is appointed to lead a review of university funding in Wales, amid concern that tuition fee subsidies now cost more than £200m a year, with much of the cash going to universities in England

2015 - Sir Ian's interim report says the status quo is not an option, but there is a "lack of consensus on the way forward".

2016: The final Diamond review report suggests a fundamental shift to a system that provides financial support for the daily living costs of students - both full and part time - through a mix of grants and loans.

2017: Plans to raise the maximum level for tuition fees from £9,000 to £9,295 in Wales are scrapped, after the UK Government pledged to freeze fees in England.

2018: The new system of student finance comes into force in time for the 2018/19 academic year.

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