The RSE Education Committee has responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the interim findings of the review of financial support for students in Scotland. The RSE shares the aim of making the student support system more equitable, less complex and more transparent. The balance of the funding mix needs to address the current situation which sees students from the lowest income households incurring higher levels of debt compared to their more affluent peers. Financial support for part-time students must be considered by the review. With a view to securing greater equity increasing the budget for student support must be considered a high priority by Scottish Government. A key issue to consider is prospective students’ understanding of, and attitudes to, student funding and debt. Research suggests that prospective students do not understand the extent of study related costs and the forms of financial support available, with understanding being worse among students from low-income households. The provision of advice in schools will be important, particularly from the point at which pupils start making their subject choices.
The full advice paper can be accessed here.