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16/09/13 10:32

Scots students in Europe

Scotland only UK country to offer support for study in EU.

Up to 500 Scots studying at five European universities will be able to apply for financial support in a pilot that marks the first time any UK students have been offered help with European study.

Scots enrolled at Scottish universities already benefit from the best package of support in the UK, including free tuition fees, Education Secretary Michael Russell said this shows how decisions taken in Scotland benefit Scots.

Now those who choose eligible courses at the University of Southern Denmark, Malmo University in Sweden, Rhein Waal University in Germany, and the universities of Groningen and Maastricht in the Netherlands can have their fees paid by the country they study in and apply for the same package of bursaries and loans as those studying in Scotland.

Mr Russell said:

“We already pay tuition fees and provide the best package of support in the UK for Scottish students who study at home. This pilot will give Scots who wish to study in Europe a chance to benefit from support and is a first for UK students, showing how decisions taken in Scotland benefit Scots.

“Living, studying and working in another country can offer young people a chance to develop new skills and experience that will be attractive to employers. That is why it is great news that more Scots will be able to reap the benefits of attending a European university.

“We will be monitoring the success and uptake of this pilot with a view to extending the range of options available for Scots looking to study in Europe and continue to make decisions that are right for Scots and right for the Scottish economy.”

Catriona O’Sullivan is from Edinburgh and is a third year student at the University College in Maastricht, where she is studying for a BA in Liberal Arts & Sciences (Major: Philosophy & Society). She said

"I previously attended a state school in Edinburgh, and left with three Advanced Highers, a strong desire to travel and a keen hunger for knowledge. The options available to us high school leavers seemed to be either going to university in Scotland, or, if you were particularly adventurous, you might go to England instead. However, I wanted to be exposed to different cultures, languages, and approaches to studying in order to become a more well-rounded young person.

"I now study in Maastricht, The Netherlands, for a Liberal Arts degree which is taught entirely in English. Situated extremely close to the borders of Germany and Belgium, there is an incredibly diverse, international and multi-lingual cohort of students. I find it an incredibly crucial part of my learning process, to work alongside others with such different experiences and perspectives, and it has, without question, enriched my understanding of the world on a profound level.

"I could not afford this option at all without the many hours I put into my side-job, and if I had had the opportunity to apply for funding from the Scottish Government when I began my course I would have jumped at the chance!"

Notes to editors

The pilot is open to students applying to study a range of courses at the University of Southern Denmark, Malmo University in Sweden, Rhein Waal University in Germany, the University of Groningen and Maastricht University in the Netherlands from September 2014.

A maximum of 250 students per year will be eligible a year in both 2014/15 and 2015/16, they will receive support for the duration of their degree. Exact costs will depend on uptake, however it will be no more than £750,000 over the two years.

Students will be entitled to the same fee support offered to home students at the university and the same package of financial support as Scottish domiciled students studying in Scotland. This would entitle students to:

Young students:
Household income
Up to £16,990 – total of £7,250 (bursary of £1,750 and loan of £5,500)
£17,000 - £23,999 – total of £6,500 (bursary of £1,000 and loan of £5,500)
£24,000 - £33,999 – total of £6,000 (bursary of £500 and loan of £5,500)
£34,000 and over - £4,500 loan

Independent students:
Household income
Up to £16,990 – total of £7,250 (bursary of £750 and loan of £6,500)
£17,000 - £23,999 –£6,500 loan
£24,000 - £33,999 –£6,000 loan
£34,000 and over - £4,500 loan