SNP refuse to reverse student grant cuts
The Scottish government’s delayed response to the student support review fails to reverse cuts made to grants and bursaries back in 2013.
The government outlined a range of new measures on student support, but bursaries will still remain £600 lower in real terms than in 2013.
Although the repayment threshold will rise to £25,000 before students will begin to pay back their loans, this will not come into effect until 2021, behind the rest of the UK.
The SNP have claimed that around 31,000 students will benefit from an improved package of support, 15 per cent of the total student population in Scotland.
Commenting on the measures, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for education Iain Gray said: “The student support review wanted to see a shift from loans back to grants for higher education students but the government told them to abide by financial restraints.
“Even with that, the government has still effectively ignored the key recommendation from the group that all students have access to the equivalent of the Real Living Wage at £8,100.
“The increase in grants the government is proposing does not even restore them to what they were in 2012, when the SNP slashed them by 35 per cent.”
Although Scotland does not have tuition fees for home students during the first four years of their studies, Scotland has some of the lowest levels of students from deprived backgrounds completing their studies.