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Topic-icon Covid: £40m for Wales' university students amid rent outcry

Covid: £40m for Wales' university students amid rent outcry

An extra £40m to help students struggling in the coronavirus pandemic will be given to Welsh universities amid outcry over rent and tuition fees.

Hundreds of students threatened to withhold payments after being unable to return to campus due to Covid rules.

Universities had offered rebates to those affected ,but some students claimed they were not being treated fairly or getting enough support.

The Welsh Government said it recognised the difficulties students had faced.

Face-to-face teaching has, in the main, been suspended and many students have remained at home following the Christmas break as coronavirus cases across Wales continued to rise.

Staggered returns are being introduced in order to "help stop the spread of the virus in student accommodation", but a return to face-to-face learning has been delayed for most students amid Wales' strict lockdown.

There are about 130,000 students at Wales' universities and some had called for support, saying it was unfair they were having to pay rent for rooms they could not live in and facilities they could not use.

All universities have offered rebates or rent holidays to students living in university-run halls unable to return to campus.

However, campaigners had said the offers were inadequate as only certain students were eligible - and many were struggling due to being unable to work part-time in bars and pubs to cover living costs.

Some had spoken of having to sell clothes to pay for food and rent after being unable to work alongside their studies.

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