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Extra financial support for students

By David Porter

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An additional £5 million is being made available to students who are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Students across Scotland can apply to their college or university’s Discretionary Fund for help if they are struggling to meet accommodation and other costs.

This extra funding means that since the start of the pandemic, the Scottish Government has provided £15 million in additional support for students. This is on top of the usual Further Education and Higher Education Discretionary Funds that are paid out each year.

Higher Education minister Richard Lochhead
Higher Education minister Richard Lochhead

Further and Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead said: “We recognise that the Covid-19 crisis has caused additional financial difficulties for many students. Those who were reliant on part-time jobs may have found themselves out of work and need additional financial support.

“This extra funding, which adds to the support we have already made available, may relieve some of the pressure for those facing hardship.”

NUS Scotland President Matt Crilly said: “Students have told us that money is one of their biggest worries and we remain concerned that the impact this year may be even greater than last.

"We welcome that the Scottish Government has made an additional £5 million available to further and higher education students facing hardship to meet rental and other costs.”

This extra financial support will be available to colleges and universities in January.

After the festive break, students will have a staggered return to campuses over at least six weeks to reduce the risks of transmission of COVID-19.

The extra £5 million support will be distributed through existing Discretionary Funds via the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).

If funds are not used at the end of the year, they will be returned to the Scottish Government by institutions via the standard annual procedures.

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