NPC Wales writes to the Assembly Minister about Rees

NPC Wales has written to the Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning at the National Assembly for Wales. Here is a copy of the letter. The reply will be posted when it is received:

NPC Wales

C/o PGSRC

Cardiff University Students Union

Park Place

Cardiff CF10 3QN

13 May 2002

Re: Progress in implementing the Rees Report

Dear Ms Davidson

The National Postgraduate Committee (NPC) Wales is a new wing of the NPC set up to represent postgraduate students in Wales. We would like to know what progress there has been in implementing the following Rees report recommendations which specifically refer to postgraduate students:

Recommendation Ten: We recommend that the National Assembly for Wales, by all means at its disposal, encourages the UK Government to launch a general review into the interface between learners support and benefit entitlement, with a view to removing anomalies and improving coherence. We are particularly concerned about the interface for postgraduate students writing up, where there is clear confusion about their status and variations in interpretation of that status.

Recommendation Thirteen: We recommend that the National Assembly for Wales works with the UK Government, the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly to undertake further investigation and analysis into how best to address the financial burden faced by those choosing to take up postgraduate study.

Recommendation Fourteen: We recommend that the National Assembly for Wales, by all means at its disposal, encourages the UK Government to allow postgraduate learners access to a student loan entitlement.

Recommendation Forty-Six: We recommend that the National Assembly for Wales encourages ELWa to investigate how best to ensure that providers can meet the full cost of essential equipment, library resources, field trips or other resources regarded as essential for the learner, including postgraduates, to achieve the specified outcomes of a course of study.

Recommendation Forty-Eight: We recommend that the National Assembly for Wales, preferably in liason with other devolved administations, initiates dialogue with the DSS to clarify systems and promote a support structure for those learners (including postgraduates writing-up theses) needing to draw upon both welfare benefits and specific funds for living costs while learning.

We look forward to hearing how these recommendations are being delivered. We note that it is approaching twelve months since the report was published and hope that some action has been taken to address these problems.

Yours sincerely

David Manning

NPC Wales Chair