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SNP conference: Loan increase for Scots students

Good news for students in Scotland, says Gordon Maloney, President of NUS Scotland. Picture: Jane Barlow

Good news for students in Scotland, says Gordon Maloney, President of NUS Scotland. Picture: Jane Barlow

  • by TOM PETERKIN
 

SCOTTISH postgraduate students will get a loan of up to £4,500 in 2015/16, Education Secretary Michael Russell has said.

Scotland’s first student loans for postgrads were announced as part of a funding package for higher and further education.

Mr Russell said more than £100 million of investment in college bursaries will allow them to increase in line with inflation.

While undergraduate student loans will increase by £250-a-year, bringing the minimum income for those from the lowest income households to £7,500.

Scottish domiciled postgraduate students taking eligible courses - the majority of which cover so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) - can apply for a loan.

Mr Russell said: “We want students in Scotland to be able to study for the qualification that suits their ability and ambition. These changes will help make that a reality and improve life chances and employability of young Scots delivering real benefits to the Scottish economy in future.”

Gordon Maloney, President of NUS Scotland, said: “The announcements today are very good news for students in Scotland. We have asked for increased support for college, university and postgraduate students and this announcement is a big step forward.

“The increase in postgraduate support is particularly welcome news, given that at the moment postgraduate students have to self-fund their way through their studies, or borrow commercial bank loans. Hopefully opening up access to living cost loans will open up new opportunities to people from poorer backgrounds towards gaining postgraduate qualifications that employers increasingly demand.”

 

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