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28/10/14 09:31

£735 million in student support

Scots-domiciled students more likely to enter Scottish universities.

Figures published today show that the level of student support provided to Scots-domiciled students increased by over 25 per cent in 2013/14.

£734.7 million was made available through free tuition, bursaries, grants or authorised student loans, with 137,295 students receiving support, an increase of 1.4 per cent on the previous year.

The findings also show that Scots-domiciled students were more likely to enter Scottish Universities in 2012-13 than previous year.

The figures, which have been welcomed by Education Secretary Michael Russell include the following:

  • The number of students receiving support increased by 1.4 per cent from 135,375 in 2012/13 to 137,295 in 2013/14
  • The average package of support rose from £4,320 to £5,350 in 2013/14, up 23.8 per cent
  • Participation of Scots domiciled students commencing study at Scottish universities increased slightly from 32.0 per cent to 32.1 per cent
  • Over the last six years the gap in participation between the most and least deprived areas has narrowed by 3.5 percentage points
  • In 2012-13 90.3 per cent of graduates from Scottish universities were in a positive destination six months after qualifying , an increase of 1.0 percentage point on the previous year.

Mr Russell said:

“The figures published today show that we have stood by our pledge to students to continue to oppose fees by providing free tuition and sufficient support to make sure that higher education remains accessible. We listened to the National Union of Students when designing the new student support package to help students to access the funds needed to take up places at our universities, through increasing the total awards made to £734.7 million in 2013/14, including a guaranteed minimum income of £7,250 for students from the most deprived areas. This minimum income has now been increased for 2014/15 to £7500.

“It is reassuring to see that by continuing to protect students from paying fees we are encouraging increased participation in higher education at our universities. I am also pleased to see that the gap between the number of students coming from our most and least deprived communities has narrowed over the last six years, but there is no room for complacency and we remain committed to making higher education attainable for those from more deprived backgrounds and communities.

“This year’s published outcome agreements with higher education institutions made clear the importance of widening access and ensuring that education is based on the ability to learn rather than pay. Accelerated by the provision of further additional funded places, we will continue to drive this forward so that more Scottish students share the opportunity to benefit from the better employment prospects Scots graduates are shown to have.”

Notes to editors

Today’s publications are as follows:

Higher Education Student Support in Scotland 2013/14: http://www.saas.gov.uk/_forms/statistics_1314.pdf

Participation Rates for Entrants to Scottish Higher Education 2012/13:

http://www.sfc.ac.uk/reportspublications/reportspublications.aspx

Early Destinations of Students Qualifying from Scottish Higher Education Institutions 2012/13:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/bulletins/01124