Letter To The Welsh Education Minister Regarding An Improved Service for Independent Students

Posted: 25-11-2015

Dear Mr Lewis

Student Finance Advice

I am writing to you on behalf of the National Association of Student Money Advisers, as we believe that you can help us to do our jobs more effectively and thereby benefit vulnerable young students.

Our concern is that vulnerable young students are receiving an inferior service in Wales compared to that in England when applying for their student finance.

Many such students - including care leavers and students who are estranged from their parents - seek the advice of practitioners such as ourselves when applying for their student finance. This is because many students struggle to understand the student finance system and in particular encounter difficulties in providing the required evidence to be treated as an independent student.

When dealing with Student Finance England, practitioners have access to a specific email address that allows them to contact the independent student team directly. This allows a student’s individual circumstances to be discussed, solutions to be found and assessments to be processed in a matter of hours rather than weeks or months.

The purpose of this letter is to highlight that no such service exists within Student Finance Wales and to request that the English service is replicated here.  NASMA sees this as best practice within the sector and believes that this would help us to support vulnerable young people within Wales more efficiently and effectively than we do now.

This matter is of huge importance to a number of organisations and is fully supported by CLASS Cymru, AMOSSHE, NUS Wales and Standalone.

I look forward to response on this matter.

Yours sincerely

 Rob Ellis