AS Swansea University suspends face to face learning from March 23rd until May 1st, Plaid Cymru has called for “urgent clarity and assurances” for students and the Higher Education sector.

There is growing uncertainty over the potential impact of the Coronavirus on universities, with the outbreak expected to peak in May, coinciding with the exams period.

Plaid Cymru’s Higher Education spokesperson, Helen Mary Jones AM said that the Labour Welsh Government must urgently address three critical areas:

– Ensuring that students are allowed to continue their studies
– Providing clarity on the situation regarding tuition and maintenance fees
– Confirming at the earliest possible opportunity whether or not exam timetables will be disrupted

Helen Mary Jones AM said:

“The Coronavirus outbreak is causing great uncertainty across society, including the higher education sector.

“Students, lecturers and wider university staff deserve urgently clarity and assurances on what the impact of the outbreak means for their ability to teach and to study as normal.

“That is why I am asking the Welsh Government to urgently address three key questions. How will students be enabled to continue their studies? What is the situation regarding tuition and maintenance fees if students are forced to suspend their studies? And what will be the impact on the exams timetable?

“I applaud Swansea University on taking the exemplary step of suspending face to face learning and hope others follow suit. However, this will have an impact on many courses, particularly those with a practical element, and that is why the Welsh Government must provide the sector with a comprehensive update of what changes we can expect over the coming months.

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