Many college and university students 'will not return this summer'

Many students in Wales will not return to college and universities this summer, a report has suggested.

The plan published by the Welsh Government which details how pupils over 16 will be affected by coronavirus, has found that practical and emotional support to reintegrate into learning will also be needed for many students across the country.

It said that some learners may resume face-to-face learning before the end of the summer term, including apprentices, but those teaching them they will face a "series of challenges" from online teaching to assessing estimated grades.

The plan details three phases - rescue, review and renew - to deal with the challenges students, colleges and the workforce will face in the coming months.

Education Minister revealed her plans for over 16s in the latest Welsh Government coronavirus briefing:

She said, "“The coronavirus has presented huge challenges for both students and education providers, in both the immediate and the longer term."

GCSE and A-level exams have been replaced with grades based on teacher assessments as a result of the crisis. Credit: PA

“This plan will complement our continuity of learning plan for schools, ‘Stay Safe. Stay Learning’, but recognises the greater levels of autonomy and diversity of education and training provided by the post-16 sector", she added.

“Our colleges, universities and training providers are critical to the national response to the coronavirus and the rebuilding of the economy. We are committed to doing all we can to support them.”

During the press conference, Ms Williams explained why no date has been given for the reopening of schools in Wales as she has previously said she will only do so "when I am assured it is the right time and it is the right thing to do."

The Welsh Government has published a 'traffic light' system for how Wales will be eased out of lockdown. Credit: Welsh Government

The report also found vulnerable students will be disproportionately affected by the disruption, as well as those with lower skills and adult learners.

There was also a warning that universities and colleges are likely to suffer "serious financial impact" from a significant fall in international students.