Increasing numbers of French-speaking students now receive support funding from their institution. From the academic year 2012-2013 through to that of 2014-2015, the proportion of students both requesting and receiving a support grant from their university, college or other institution went from 8.96 to 9.97%. This amounts to an increase of 2,411 students.
This is detailed in Le Soir today (Thursday). It is based upon figures from a study by CoVEDAS, the Commission for “Social Policy”, part of ARES (the research and higher education academy), commissioned by Minister Marcourt.
With 16,087 people having received this financial aid (intended to partially subsidise the costs of study) in the year 2012-2013, recipient numbers increased to 18,498 in 2014-2015. This is a jump of 15%, although the student population only climbed by a mere 3.5%.
Various reasons have been flagged up, amongst which are increasing precariousness of the system and the recent revision to the criteria used by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (WBF) for providing study grants. The latter is forcing some students towards this alternative institution-based means of financial support. The growing proportion of young people who wish to carry out higher education studies is also accentuating the phenomenon.
During the same time period, the means made available by the WBF have not increased by the same proportion.