NPC Wales: your postgraduate voice in Wales
NPC Wales Petition Assembly
Natasha Hirst and David Manning of NPC Wales about to present the petition.
On Thursday 25 July representatives of NPC Wales presented a petition to the National Assembly for Wales. It called for entitlement to Assembly Learning Grants (ALGs) to be extended to postgraduates, and for adequate support from hardship funds to be made available to postgrads when ALGs are brought in. The petition contained 400 signatures from concerned students at Swansea, Bangor, Cardiff and Aberystwyth who joined our calls for improved financial support for postgraduates.
Kevin Clapham of the Higher Education Division responded to the petition on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government on 4 September. He said that the ALGs had been introduced in line with the Rees reports recommendations, while statutory support for students remains with UK Government. However 2002/3 is being treated very much as a pathfinder year and that the Welsh assembly government want to learn from the experience. On the level of FCFs, Mr Clapham explained that FCFs will be administered in much the same way as in previous years although when considering applications Institutions will take into account an individuals entitlement to other support (e.g. ALG).
NPC Wales will discuss this at our next meeting (see below) where we will be deciding how to move forward on this issue. We are pleased to have established a dialogue with the Assembly, and that so many postgraduates and student union officers participated in our campaign last year.
Next meeting of NPC Wales
We will be meeting on Friday 1 November from 2pm-5pm in the Graduate Centre, Cardiff University. All postgraduate representatives, sabbatical officers who represent postgraduates (such as education officers), mature students officers, and other interested parties are encouraged to come along. On the agenda so far is:
- Follow-up on the Assembly petition
% Update on the Rees Report postgraduate recommendations
% Widening participation for postgraduates?
% Plans for the Spring Semester
If you want to add something to the agenda, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. On the following day (Saturday 2 November) a NPC UK meeting will be held in Cardiff where Prof Teresa Rees, chair of the independent group who wrote the Rees Report, will be speaking on equal opportunities in higher education. If you want to come to both events get in touch soon to book overnight accommodation for the Friday night.
What is NPC Wales?
Our object is to advance, in the public interest, postgraduate education in Wales. We are part of the NPC of the UK, a charitable body, and we work in co-operation with NUS Wales. We encourage all those who represent postgraduates to get involved.
NPC Wales briefing for student union officers
In August this year NPC Wales produced and distributed a briefing document, written as an introduction to postgraduate affairs for new students union officers. It is on our website if you want to have a look (www.npc.org.uk/wales), or we can mail you a hard copy.