West College at Queens Quay in Clydebank. Picture by Bill Heaney

By Harry Bell

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has said that the SNP’s deep cuts to bursaries has left Scotland’s poorest students short-changed.

The maximum amount that the poorest students in higher education can receive from the Young Students’ Bursary has fallen by more than £1,000 in real terms under the SNP, Scottish Labour can reveal.

Students from households with low family incomes had been able to receive up to £2,640 through the bursary in 2012-13 – however this was cut by the SNP government in April 2013.

Had the SNP not cut the Young Students’ Bursary then the scheme would be worth a maximum of £3,157 per person in this financial year.

Despite this, the SNP’s cuts to the bursary mean that the maximum funds available to the poorest students today is just £2,000 – a cut of £1,157 in real terms.

Jackie Baillie has repeatedly called for the need to support students who live in poorer communities, both within her constituency and across Scotland.

Jackie Baillie MSP said:  “There can be no doubt that these deep cuts have left Scotland’s poorest students let down and short-changed.

“These cuts will have had a direct impact on the ability of students from within our own community to commence or complete their studies.

“Time and time again, the SNP has failed to tackle the deep-seated inequality in our education system.

“Scottish Labour is committed to ending inequality in our higher education system through a minimum student income and action to put rent controls on student accommodation.

“We can’t have our poorest students short-changed and let down – the time for action has come.”


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