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Scottish Government make moves to tackle student poverty

Friday 15-05-2015 - 14:33

NUS Scotland has welcomed an announcement by the Scottish Government of student support improvements for Scottish students. 

 

NUS Scotland has welcomed an announcement by the Scottish Government of student support improvements for Scottish students. The improvements were announced during an address by the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Angela Constance, at a conference on widening access on Friday 15 May.

In 2015/16 the amount of bursary that students will receive will increase by £125, for students with household incomes up to £24,000. In 2016/17, the income threshold for students eligible for the maximum amount will also be raised, from £17,000 to £19,000. 

Commenting on the announcement, Vonnie Sandlan, NUS Scotland president-elect, said: 

“This is great news for Scottish students, and in no small part due to the campaigning efforts of NUS Scotland and students across Scotland over the last few years. Our work to bring student poverty up the political agenda is paying off, delivering real benefits for students, and the Scottish Government is to be congratulated for doing more to tackle student poverty.

“NUS Scotland has long campaigned for, and achieved, big increases in student support, ensuring that students have enough money to get through their course. Continued investment in student support means fewer students turning to payday loans, commercial borrowing, or dropping out of education altogether. Today’s announcement is a strong recognition of the importance of student support to improving fair access and step forward in boosting the amount of money the poorest students have. Crucially, it delivers the increases in grants, further reducing student poverty without adding any worries of increased debt.  

“This is a really welcome announcement but we can, and must, always push ourselves to go further on tackling student poverty. At the same time, we can’t forget that students in further education are still struggling by on a bursary system in real need of reform and more money. As we look ahead to the next Scottish budget this year, and Scottish elections next year, that’s a message we’ll keep pushing to all parties, and students will expect to see action.”

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