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August 2, 2016

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Student Money News
» A change in the law: You will need a TV Licence for BBC iPlayer

On 7th July the government laid secondary legislation proposing to close the BBC iPlayer loophole. The new law, which will extend the licence fee to cover BBC iPlayer, is expected to be implemented from 1 September 2016.

It will affect only those who are currently unlicensed and who watch on demand programmes, including catch-up, on BBC iPlayer. The law change does not affect the vast majority of households which are already licensed.

The new law applies to watching BBC iPlayer on all devices including a smart TV, desktop computer or laptop, mobile phone, tablet, digital box or games console. A licence will be needed even if you access BBC iPlayer through another provider such as Sky, Virgin Media, Freeview or BT. An advisory notice will appear on BBC iPlayer from 1 September.

As before a licence will still be needed to watch or record live TV on any channel, no matter what device you use.

For further details please visit TV Licensing website

June 29, 2016

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Student Money News
» USW and Welsh Government Statements on EU Students, Higher Education and Research following the EU Referendum

The University and Welsh Government have both issued statements regarding current and new EU students, following the EU Referendum

Please see link for Welsh Government statement.

University Statement

We know that students are wondering how the UK vote to begin an exit from the European Union will affect them.

USW is proud to be a University with students from over 120 countries, and we want students from across the EU to know that they are welcome, and will remain welcome at USW.

Here’s some updated information which comes from the UK Government, the Welsh Government, and the organisations who assess and distribute student funding, Student Finance Wales and the Student Loans Company.

We’ll continue to stay in touch with you and we’ll also post the latest information on the University’s website

FUNDING

Applying for funding

EU students who are eligible under current rules will continue to receive loans and grants from the Student Loans Company. This applies for courses they are currently enrolled on, or about to start this coming year in September 2016.

All EU students currently on a course or about to start one will continue to receive funding for the full duration of their courses. Information on the criteria that decide if you’re eligible for funding, including residency rules, is available from Student Finance Wales

Future funding arrangements with the EU will be determined in the next few years as part of the UK’s discussions on its membership.

*If you’re already studying at USW *

Loans and grants from Student Finance Wales for eligible EU citizens currently studying at USW will continue until they finish their course. This applies to all student finance from SFW for students in Wales for which EU nationals are eligible. It includes grants and loans to cover tuition fees (for those resident in the EEA for three years), loans and grants for maintenance (limited to those resident in the UK for at least three years), and some other grants and allowances.

If you’re starting at USW in 2016

There is no change to the rules applying to EU citizens who have applied for a place at university from this August. Student Finance Wales will assess these applications as normal, using the existing eligibility criteria, and will provide loans/grants in the normal way. EU nationals or their family members who are assessed as eligible to receive grants/loans by the Student Loans Company will then be eligible for the whole of their study on that course.

EU students’ Visa status

As the Prime Minister has stated, there will be no immediate changes following the EU Referendum, including in the circumstances of British citizens living in the EU, and European citizens living here. This includes those studying or working at UK universities.

The UK Government has been very clear that for students, visitors, businesses, and entrepreneurs who are already in the UK or who wish to come here, there will be no immediate change to the UK’s visa policies.

Erasmus+

The referendum result does not affect students studying in the EU, beneficiaries of Erasmus+ or those considering applying in 2017. The UK’s future access to the Erasmus+ programme after 2017 will be part of wider discussions with the EU.

More broadly, existing UK students studying in the EU, and those looking to start in the next academic year, will continue with the current arrangements.

Horizon 2020 research funding

The referendum result has no immediate effect on those applying to or participating in Horizon 2020. UK participants can continue to apply to the programme in the usual way. The future of UK access to European science funding will be a matter for future discussions. The UK Government has stated that it is determined to ensure that the UK continues to play a leading role in European and international research.

If you have any queries, please contact the University’s Student Money Advice Team

June 28, 2016

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Student Money News
» USW and UK Government Statements on EU Students, Higher Education and Research following the EU Referendum

The University and UK Government have both issues statements regarding EU students.

Please see UK Government statement

University Statement

We know that students are wondering how the UK vote to begin an exit from the European Union will affect them.

USW is proud to be a University with students from over 120 countries, and we want students from across the EU to know that they are welcome, and will remain welcome at USW.

Here’s some updated information which comes from the UK Government, the Welsh Government, and the organisations who assess and distribute student funding, Student Finance Wales and the Student Loans Company.

We’ll continue to stay in touch with you and we’ll also post the latest information on the University’s website

FUNDING

Applying for funding

EU students who are eligible under current rules will continue to receive loans and grants from the Student Loans Company. This applies for courses they are currently enrolled on, or about to start this coming year in September 2016.

All EU students currently on a course or about to start one will continue to receive funding for the full duration of their courses. Information on the criteria that decide if you’re eligible for funding, including residency rules, is available from Student Finance Wales

Future funding arrangements with the EU will be determined in the next few years as part of the UK’s discussions on its membership.

*If you’re already studying at USW *

Loans and grants from Student Finance Wales for eligible EU citizens currently studying at USW will continue until they finish their course. This applies to all student finance from SFW for students in Wales for which EU nationals are eligible. It includes grants and loans to cover tuition fees (for those resident in the EEA for three years), loans and grants for maintenance (limited to those resident in the UK for at least three years), and some other grants and allowances.

If you’re starting at USW in 2016

There is no change to the rules applying to EU citizens who have applied for a place at university from this August. Student Finance Wales will assess these applications as normal, using the existing eligibility criteria, and will provide loans/grants in the normal way. EU nationals or their family members who are assessed as eligible to receive grants/loans by the Student Loans Company will then be eligible for the whole of their study on that course.

EU students’ Visa status

As the Prime Minister has stated, there will be no immediate changes following the EU Referendum, including in the circumstances of British citizens living in the EU, and European citizens living here. This includes those studying or working at UK universities.

The UK Government has been very clear that for students, visitors, businesses, and entrepreneurs who are already in the UK or who wish to come here, there will be no immediate change to the UK’s visa policies.

Erasmus+

The referendum result does not affect students studying in the EU, beneficiaries of Erasmus+ or those considering applying in 2017. The UK’s future access to the Erasmus+ programme after 2017 will be part of wider discussions with the EU.

More broadly, existing UK students studying in the EU, and those looking to start in the next academic year, will continue with the current arrangements.

Horizon 2020 research funding

The referendum result has no immediate effect on those applying to or participating in Horizon 2020. UK participants can continue to apply to the programme in the usual way. The future of UK access to European science funding will be a matter for future discussions. The UK Government has stated that it is determined to ensure that the UK continues to play a leading role in European and international research.

If you have any queries, please contact the University’s Student Money Advice Team

June 27, 2016

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Student Money News
» Student Finance England’s Postgraduate Loan application service is now open!

We are encouraging students to apply as early as possible to make sure their Postgraduate Loan is ready for the start of their course.

The quickest and easiest way for students to apply is online

•Available to English domiciled students (this includes those currently studying in Wales) You can apply for a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards your course and living costs.
If your course is longer than one year you can get up to £5,000 in your first year and the rest in your second year. If you are studying part time you can only get payments in the first two years of your course. The loan will be paid into your bank account in three instalments during the academic year.

•Available to students under the age of 60.

•Non means tested (not dependent on your family’s income).

•Both taught and research master’s courses are eligible, including MA, MSc, LLM, MRes, MA by Research, and MSc by Research courses.

(Please note that Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish domiciled students are not eligible for this loan scheme. The Welsh Government has yet to stipulate whether a similar system will be available to Welsh domiciled students for 2017-18 academic year.)

For further information on Postgraduate Loans, students can visit SFE’s student finance zone on The Student Room which has been updated with a dedicated Postgraduate Loan section and includes answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Students can also ask questions on Wednesday 29 June in a Postgraduate Loan Forum

June 9, 2016

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Student Money News
» Reminder - The deadline for continuing students to apply to Student Finance Wales for academic year 2016/17 is 10 June 2016

We are encouraging continuing full-time, Student Finance Wales HE undergraduate students to apply for support as soon as possible

The quickest and easiest way for students to apply is online

Students can still apply for support after the deadline, but may not get their money in time for the start of their course.

If you need any support please contact Student Money Advice Team

June 6, 2016

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Student Money News
» Beware of 'SLC' Phishing Scam

We have recently learned of a phishing scam which appears to target students specifically

Phishing refers to an email that attempts to fraudulently acquire personal information, such as, password and/or account information. On the surface, these emails may appear to be legitimate and some are presented as being from a University or the Department for Education.

However these emails are fraudulent and students should notify the Student Loans Company of any concerns relating to a suspicious communication.

Please be vigilant and emails suspected to be fraudulent can be forwarded to phishing@slc.co.uk or contact their Counter Fraud Services team:

Email: cfs@slc.co.uk
Tel: 0141 243 3336

You can also contact the University’s Student Money Advice Team

May 27, 2016

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Student Money News
» BEWARE: A new scam is targeting university students

Gwent Police has warned that students are receiving emails which claim they’ve been awarded an educational grant by the Department for Education

The email purports to have come from the Finance Department of the student’s university and tricks the recipient into clicking on a link in the message to provide personal and banking details. See more

If you are in any doubt regarding an email you have been sent, don’t click the link and seek advice from the Student Money Advice Team

» Hardship Fund Still Open!

The University’s Hardship Fund is still open for continuing UK students

Full details, application forms and criteria on the schemes are available here

As previously notified on our Student Money Unilife pages, students in their final year should have applied by 14 March 2016 (March intake Nursing students) or 20 May 2016 (other subjects).

As funds are limited, it would be advisable to apply as soon as possible.

If you need any support with your application, or are an EU or International student experiencing financial difficulties, please make an appointment to see an adviser

May 19, 2016

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Student Money News
» Energy Saving Advice

How Students Can Seek Support in Switching Energy Suppliers and Reducing Their Energy Costs

For most students, university is the first time they’ve lived in a home of their own – sharing a house with friends is often one of the most memorable highlights of our student days. For many, it’s also the first time they’ve dealt with an energy supplier.

There are a lot of suppliers and tariffs to choose from, and it can be hard to know where to start. Even once you’re set up, reading meters and sorting bill payments between several people can be a lot to manage.

Fortunately, help is at hand for anyone who needs support to understand or keep track of their energy usage. The Community Action Partnership (CAP), a joint initiative between NEA Cymru and British Gas, has been working to bring affordable warmth to people in Cardiff over the past two years. During this time, CAP has delivering a varied programme of awareness sessions and events to help people understand how to use energy more efficiently. As part of this work, NEA Cymru has provided free training to student advisers from universities across the city, including USW, arming them with the skills needed to help the student community understand more about energy usage, paying bills and how to heat homes efficiently.

Whether you need help switching energy suppliers, are confused about your landlord’s responsibilities, or want to find out about how you can cut your energy usage, your student advisers can offer free, impartial advice. Please get in touch with Student Money Advice Team

As well as speaking to a student adviser, here are five energy tips that you can use at home:
• Keep furniture away from radiators to allow heat to flow around the room easily
• Block draughts to stop heat escaping by fitting insulation strips on windows and doors or by covering keyholes and letterboxes (but be careful not to block vents, these are important to keep air circulating). These strips can be bought cheaply at a local DIY store
• Save energy and reduce condensation by keeping lids on pans when cooking
• Save electricity by defrosting the freezer regularly. As it gets more frosted-up, the freezer has to work harder to keep cold, so more electricity is used
• Don’t dry clothes on the radiators – this can cause mould and condensation. It also makes the boiler work harder than it needs to by heating the clothes as well as the room.

Whether you’re a British Gas customer or not, you can call the British Gas Energy Efficiency Advice Line on 0800 072 8629 or visit their website for more advice on improving the energy efficiency of your home.

April 26, 2016

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Student Money News
» Student Finance England Post-graduate Loan Surgery 25-29 April

English-domiciled students may be able to apply for a Loan for post-graduate study in 2016/17

Student Finance England’s running a dedicated Post-graduate Loan surgery on The Student Room – please see information below:

Our experts will be available to answer any questions students have about Post-graduate Loans from 25-29 April.

You can leave questions now

Students can also visit SFE’s student finance zone on The Student Room, which has been updated with a dedicated Postgraduate Loan section including answers to some of the most frequently asked questions

If you would like further post-graduate funding information, please visit the University’s money pages

You can also book an appointment with an adviser