SCOTLAND’s Education secretary has announced a review into education payments to help with living expenses after it emerged last week thousands of university students were still to receive vital loans and bursaries.
Michael Russell announced the review, commissioned by the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS), after it was claimed the support system was in “chaos” with about 6,000 students left waiting for payments.
Mr Russell said the review will ensure potential improvements are identified, while SAAS continue to deal with the remaining late applications. David Wallace, deputy chief executive of the Student Loans Company, will lead the review of the processes for dealing with late and complex funding applications.
Mr Russell said: “I understand the concerns raised about the time taken to process funding applications. This is a critical issue and I am therefore pleased that David Wallace will lead an independent review.
Student leaders had called for an inquiry into the delays, while the convener of the Scottish Parliament’s education committee, SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell, asked the for an “urgent” update.
SAAS extended its helpline hours last week and over the weekend to clear the backlog.