A report from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland shows grant and bursary levels for Scotland’s students are down again.

Bursaries and grants 2014/15 Change on last year Change from 05/06
Number of students 52,315 -2.1% -11.0%
Total paid £63.6m -1.9% -36.3%
Average paid per student £1,220 0.8% -28.2%

Scottish Labour Opportunity spokesperson Iain Gray said:

“Scottish Labour wants every single young person to have the best possible start in life. That’s why we want to cut the attainment gap between the richest and the rest in our classrooms and why we support keeping university tuition free.

But free tuition alone will not offer students the support they need, especially those form the poorest backgrounds.

Since the SNP took office in 2007 the budget for bursaries and grants has been slashed by £40 million and student debt has soared. That’s £40 million less for students who have the talent and the drive but need extra support to get on in life.

Fewer students are getting bursaries, and those who do are getting less support. Thousands of young people from poorer families who have the grades to access the best courses can only get the extra support they need by borrowing more.

That simply isn’t good enough, especially from a government who were elected on a promise to write off student debt.”