New Scottish Student support arrangements announced

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The UK’s best student support package has been announced this morning by Education Secretary Michael Russell, it includes a minimum income of £7,250 for the most vulnerable.

Scottish students will benefit from the best funding package available in the UK with enhanced support and free tuition, Education Secretary Michael Russell announced this morning.

On top of current benefits such as free tuition, the new package, to be introduced in 2013 includes:

- An annual minimum income of £7,250, through a combination of bursaries and loans, for students with a family income of less than £17,000.

- All students, irrespective of circumstances, will be eligible for a student loan of £4,500 a year – as requested by NUS Scotland who want to see more cash in student pockets.

- Part-time students with a personal income of less than £25,000 will now receive full support for tuition fees as a proportion of the full-time fee equivalent.

Mr Russell made the announcement at Glasgow University’s REACH programme which helps young people realise their ambition to attend university. Speaking about the announcement, he said “Scotland is the only country in the UK with free higher education. It is the only country to see an increase in the number of young people applying for courses as well as the highest number of students ever accepted into our universities on Higher results day. This is tremendous news and a clear vindication of our policy of no tuition fees. He closed by adding, “Today, I am delighted to announce changes which will enhance the offer by ensuring that Scottish students can access the best and most straight forward package of student support in the UK.

“We know that studying at university costs money and that this can put some people off from applying. That is why I have worked with our partners, including NUS Scotland, to review our system of student support.

“A minimum income of £7,250 will be available to those from the lowest income households and I expect this will benefit around 45,000 students each year. While improved availability of loans and equal support for part-time students, alongside free tuition, will help ensure that all those with potential can go to university and achieve their goals, in turn playing a key role in improving our economy in years to come.”

The revised arrangements for student support will be introduced for all students in academic year 2013/14.

Part-time students from the lowest income households will now be able to have the full cost of their tuition fees up to the equivalent rate of fee support for full-time courses met by the Scottish Government. This brings them into line with the arrangements for full-time students.

Allied Health Profession students (e.g. radiographers, physiotherapists, dieticians etc.) will be brought into the new simplified student support package from 2013-14.  Furthermore, medical and dental students will benefit from the main undergraduate support arrangements for the duration of their study – usually a five year programme that previously involved less generous support arrangements in the fifth year.

SAAS Funding update for 2013/14.

Have your say

Join in the discussion and help us make Scottish Education even better.

  • Edi Wibowo

    The Scottish Government has the attitude that you're only Scots if you stay in Scotland as a student – once you go south of the border you're hung out to dry.

  • Edi Wibowo

    One part of them is encouraging people to pursue their studies whereas another part of them is not doing anything about the financial portion of the entire issue.

  • Larasati

    This is really good news, well done Scottish Govt. I think 25K is more than enough, if you are earning that much, a lot of employers will sponsor you anyway. I do not regret moving here 12 years ago, as my 2 teenage boys will surely benefit from this enlightened policy.

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  • Syamsul Alam

    I wonder where my comment went few days ago, but anyway this is great news!!

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  • fedupmum

    I notice there's no mention in this article about the decision to withdraw the loan premium for Scottish students who study in London? Best UK student support package? Not true. If you look at the funding available for the poorest students from each of the 4 nations, the Scottish student comes off worst in terms of hard cash available while he's studying. For these students, Scotland has the lowest loan amounts on offer, the worst bursary / loan ratio and repayments upon graduation start at a lower threshold than anywhere else in the UK. The Scottish Government has the attitude that you're only Scots if you stay in Scotland as a student – once you go south of the border you're hung out to dry. There are some courses that simply aren't available in Scotland, or if they are, the institutions offering them aren't as well regarded in certain industries; in that case, why should the poorest students be denied the opportunity to study elsewhere in the UK where the course IS available? Anti-English sentiment is alive and well at Holyrood: Shame on you, Mike Russell.

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  • Lorraine Allan

    When is this funding going to be available does anyone know? I know it’s this year but when? I am struggling with finances. I don’t want to mention the reasons on this post however if anyone could give me some advice that would be really helpful. I came across this site by accident. I imagine that the Scottish OU here in Edinburgh have plans to let us all know when this funding can be applied for? Sooner hopefully than later on this year?

  • MitchellSexner

    It is great to know that the Scottish government has put their words into action unlike the government bodies of many other countries whose citizens are still left stranded on the streets homeless and hungry as a result of not being able to pay for their tuition fees. One part of them is encouraging people to pursue their studies whereas another part of them is not doing anything about the financial portion of the entire issue. Such a contradicting predicament indeed which has definitely been highly frowned upon for decades now. The Scottish government should be the role model that other countries should follow in order for people to pursue their dreams, be it in Arts, Science, medical, law or anything at all.