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Students march on Holyrood to call for fairer support

Tuesday 22-03-2016 - 17:36

Tuesday 22 March: For immediate release

  • NUS Scotland will be holding a rally at Holyrood on Wednesday 23 March, calling for all political parties to commit to fairer student support.
  • The demonstration, from 12.30pm, coincides with the last day of Parliament and will be addressed by student leaders and trade unions.

NUS Scotland will be holding a national demonstration on Wednesday 23 March, outside the Scottish Parliament. Under the banner ‘Shaping Scotland’s Future’, the rally will coincide with the last working of the Scottish Parliament and marks the formal start of NUS Scotland’s election campaign. The demonstration follows the launch of NUS Scotland’s manifesto for fairer support, calling for political parties to commit to improvements in students, including: 

  • Further education student support: A right to improved, guaranteed bursary support for all Further Education students, replacing the unfair postcode lottery they currently face. 
  • Higher education student support: An improved, year round approach to supporting Higher Education students, providing increased grants and a reduced reliance on debt.
  • Student mental health: Improved, coordinated mental health support for students, ensuring that provision is linked up across NHS board areas and institutions.  

The rally is due to assemble at 12.30pm, outside the public entrance to the Scottish Parliament. As well as hearing from students and student leaders the rally will be addressed by representatives from UCU Scotland and EIS - and politicians from all political parties have been invited to come and meet with students.

Commenting on the demonstration, Vonnie Sandlan, President of NUS Scotland, said:
“Last week NUS Scotland launched our manifesto for fairer support - and now we’re taking those demands direct to politicians. Across every constituency, students and young people have the potential to be a hugely powerful voice in these elections, and this demonstration is about ensuring politicians recognise that power and hear our message.

“Despite all the progress we’ve made over the last Parliament, there’s still much more we can, and must, do to ensure that students have the necessary support to get into education, stay there, and succeed. Our manifesto for fairer support has been shaped by students and sets out much needed reforms that, if implemented, will have a really positive impact on some of our poorest and most in need students. Now need to see those policies committed to and acted on.

“From now until polling day we will be mobilising to make sure students in Scotland leave candidates in no doubt that the status quo simply can’t go on. This demonstration gives students the chance to make their voice heard, and help ensure Scotland’s politicians commit to the improvements students need.”
…ends

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