Sandra White MSP for Glasgow Kelvin

MSP WELCOMES SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS IN HARDSHIP

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Scottish Government announce £30 million of additional funding for students in need.

Students experiencing hardship as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) will be supported by £20 million of extra Scottish Government funding.

A further £10 million has also been allocated to universities and colleges for income lost in providing rent rebates.

To complement the additional £30 million, the Scottish Funding Council is also repurposing £5 million of student support funding towards discretionary funding for FE students in the college sector.
Sandra White MSP said:
“Having worked closely with students and education institutions throughout the pandemic I warmly welcome this announcement by the Scottish Government. The pressures impacting wider society are keenly felt by many students – away from home for the first time, unable to solidify a foundation of support due to the restrictions on socialising, plunged in to financial challenges due to the lack of employment opportunities; all of this while living during a pandemic in near isolation without a support structure and expected to complete their studies as normal.

“This £20m will therefore support the precarious finances of students and alleviate a primary stressor, while the additional £10m will assist those institutions who have supported their students through rent rebates and refunds. Once again the Scottish Government has listened to what is being asked for and have delivered a tailored package of support.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“The impact of the pandemic on students has been significant. Not only has there been disruption to their education, we know that many students face financial difficulties with accommodation, associated costs or challenges in getting jobs. This additional £20 million will help to alleviate the financial pressure and stress facing many of our students.

“We are also supporting institutions, many of which have lost revenue by giving students rent refunds or rebates, with an additional £10 million.

“This announcement builds on the £37 million package of support the Scottish Government has already provided to support students during the pandemic.”

Matt Crilly, President of NUS Scotland, said:
“NUS Scotland welcomes this crucial support from the Scottish Government at a time when students are struggling. We know many of the traditional sources of student income have been decimated during the pandemic, so it is a relief to know there will be additional funding for those experiencing hardship.

“This support is essential in helping Scotland uphold its commitment to fair access to education. While Scotland has made important advances in recent years towards widening access to further and higher education, the pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities and threatens to erode this progress. This funding helps ensure we are not only supporting students from all backgrounds into education, but also helping them stay in education.”

Shona Struthers, chief executive officer of Colleges Scotland, said:
“We welcome any additional funding to support college students across Scotland at this incredibly difficult time. Many of our students are learning from home and with additional financial hardship caused by the pandemic – we are sure that the much-needed additional funds from Scottish Government will prove beneficial to students during this lockdown period. Colleges Scotland will work on behalf of the sector to highlight ongoing challenges.”