Jackie Baillie and local places of learning.

Figures released from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) have revealed that 6000 fewer students in Scotland are receiving grants and bursaries to go to college and university, than there were 10 years ago. This comes as the cost of living for students is at its highest.

Figures published by SAAS this week show that in 2009/10, the average amount awarded in bursaries and grants per student was £1,830. Comparatively, despite increases since 2013/14, by 2018/19 this had fallen to £1,470.

Additionally, the average loan authorisation per student for living costs has rocketed from £2,490 in 2009/10 to £5,300 in 2018/19 – an increase of £2,810 (113%).

SAAS analysis also revealed that students living in deprived areas, including parts of the Vale of Leven, Dumbarton, Helensburgh and Lomond were the most likely to take out large loans so that they could afford to be at college and university.

MSP Jackie Baillie said: “The SNP came into power claiming that education was its priority. Nicola Sturgeon and her nationalist MSPs ran on a manifesto of ending student debt yet all they have done is made it harder for the poorest young people in my constituency to get the education that they deserve.

“I know the barriers that many students in my constituency have to overcome in order to accept a place at college or university. It is unjustifiable that this SNP Government are putting unmanageable loans at the centre of their student finance scheme when it’s grants and bursaries that these students desperately need.”


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