A Welsh Conservative debate on adult learning will today call for greater support for adults in part-time learning.
Shadow Education Secretary, Darren Millar, wants Ministers to make progress on better guidance on part-time study options in both higher and further education.
Part-time learning at Further Education Institutions fell by 21.4% in one year between 2015 and 2016, with a corresponding drop of 11% in those option for part-time study at higher education level.
Recent research from Open University, meanwhile, has revealed that 17% of learners have used debt – including credit cards, overdrafts and payday loans – to fund costs.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Mr Millar said:
“We need to see greater support for part-time students in Wales who are often juggling many other commitments, such as caring for families and keeping up day jobs.
“They set aside weekday evenings after work, sacrifice personal commitments, and face all sorts of financial and familial pressures to get on and achieve.
“Sadly, part-time students are taking on ever greater debts on credit cards and overdrafts to fund these courses, and it’s hardest for those in low wage employment and from the most disadvantaged communities in Wales.
“That’s why we need to see progress on the introduction of post-graduate support, improved guidance on part-time study options and parity of esteem between part time students in higher and further education.
“We must ensure implementation of these proposals as soon as possible.”