Thursday 17-12-2015 - 10:30
The Scottish Government released it's draft budget for 2016/17 on Wednesday, you can read the full document here, and read NUS Scotland's response below.
“Doesn’t go far enough in addressing problems in the current student support system”
“Good to see a recognition of the importance of our colleges, and continued protection of their budget”
“We need to prioritise improving the support available to our poorest students”
Commenting on the Scottish Government’s draft budget, Vonnie Sandlan, NUS Scotland President, said:
“It’s clear that students are in desperate need of fairer funding, and this budget could go further in addressing that, with no proposals to improve the student support system and cash cuts for universities. It’s really good to see a recognition of the importance of our colleges, and continued protection of their budget, but college students are still left with uncertainty of whether they’ll have enough money to live on.
“While there is no question about the tough financial circumstances facing Scotland as a result of the reckless austerity we’ve seen from Westminster, we cannot overlook the importance of investing in education, and particularly students and young people. Without the necessary financial support, the worry is that we continue to see students being forced into commercial debt, or dropping out of education altogether. That would be a waste of some of our brightest talent, and the country. At the same time, cuts to universities cannot have any impact on our student’s ability to participate and succeed, or the resources available to them.
“Scotland cannot afford to continue with the status quo in student support. Students in further education, particularly, who are some of the most in-need students we have, are also the ones who continue to struggle by on an outdated, postcode lottery bursary system, with no guarantees of funding. As we approach the budget vote and Scottish elections next year, we’ll be looking to politicians across the Parliament to work to improve the support our poorest students receive, secure additional funding for them, and see fundamental reform of the system.”