SNP offers more support for students
Cabinet Secretary for Education Fiona Hyslop today announced plans to improve support for Scotland's students as she launched a consultation on how to distribute £30 million put aside to provide grants or improved bursaries from 2010 as the SNP continued to move Scotland away from Labour's pay to learn culture.
The options being put forward to improve student support include;
- improving and expanding bursaries
- introducing a minimum income
- targeting on lower income students
Cabinet Secretary for Education Fiona Hyslop said:
"Maintaining a world-class education system is essential if we are to create a more successful country with higher levels of sustainable economic growth.
"We have already taken steps to tackle some of the financial barriers faced by students and increase the help available to them, from abolishing the unfair graduate endowment fee to replacing loans with grants for part-time learners.
"Today, we are taking that a significant step further, seeking views on proposals to reform student support.
"Among the proposals are further plans to move from loans to grants - loans which we believe are wrong for students and wrong for Scotland.
"It would be better for students if grants were paid directly to them and it would be better for graduates if they were not forced to leave higher education thousands of pounds in debt. We are also considering the case put forward by students and others for an increase in the overall support available and how additional funding could best be used to help those most in need."
The consultation was welcomed by SNP MSP Christina McKelvie who said;
"After years of being forced onto loans or to pay backdoor fees this consultation continues the SNP Government’s actions to support students and gives students a say over the kind of financial support they will receive.
“The SNP has already scrapped the graduate endowment and re-introduced grants for part time students, ensuring education in Scotland is based on students ability to learn not the ability to pay.
"Whilst the SNP has put an end to Labour's pay to learn culture the Labour Government in London are about to consider increasing student fees - putting young people further into debt.
“From increasing and extending bursaries to meeting a minimum income guarantee or to supporting those on lower incomes to reduce the level of debt this consultation, supported by the NUS, gives students the opportunity to say how they would like to be funded in the future."