Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesman Liam McArthur MSP today said that poorer students in Scotland are being lumped with more debt than ever.
New figures from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) showed that bursary and grant support has been cut by £1.3m in the last year.
The total amount provided in non-repayable bursaries and grants decreased by around two per cent, from £64.9 million in 2013-14 to £63.6 million in 2014-15. Over the same period, the average loan payment per student increased by 5%.
Commenting, Mr McArthur said:
“Figures released from the Students Award agency today will make uncomfortable reading for the SNP Government, but it won’t be news to students struggling to make ends meet.
“The SNP Government has slashed the average amount of bursary and grant support by £640 per student since 2012-2013. In the last year alone, the SNP Government have cut £1.3 million from bursary and grant support.
“The SNP promised that they would abolish student debt. Despite the rhetoric, the reality is clear. The gap between bursary and loan support for students has never been wider, lumping poorer students with more debt than ever before."
Notes to Editors:
Further details on the student support announcement are available at http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Higher-Education-Student-Support-for-Scotland-2014-15-1eaa.aspx