Responding to the announcement that the Welsh Government will provide an additional £40 million to support students facing financial hardship, NUS Wales President Becky Ricketts said:
"This is hugely welcome news that puts money back into the pockets of students who have struggled throughout the pandemic. The funding recognises that tens of thousands of students are keeping Wales safe by not accessing their term-time accommodation due to travel restrictions and phased returns.
“It is particularly vital that this money reaches students who live in the private rented sector. It is great news that every institution in Wales has committed to refunding students for time they can’t be at university-owned accommodation, but this does not apply to students who rent privately.
“The pandemic has exposed the fragility of the private rented market for students, and I will keep the pressure on the Welsh Government to strengthen protections for student renters longer term, such as more flexible notice periods.
“I’m also delighted that part of the £40 million will be used to address digital poverty. Not every student can access adequate learning technologies when they’re away from university, so focusing on those students will help them continue their learning at this difficult time.”