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UCU Scotland welcomes increased funding for student support

15 December 2008 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU Scotland welcomes the proposals to increase student support for Scottish students set out in the consultation released today. However, the funding for the proposals is limited to £30 million and the consultation is forcing respondents to decide how best to spend this money.

Presently the levels of support do not meet the living costs of most students forcing them to take on private debt at commercial rates which often require repayment soon after graduating. Further many students have been forced to undertake part-time work to supplement their student support to the detriment of their studies. Juggling paid work commitments and studies add extra stress for students and also lecturers who have to pick up the pieces. Hence a proposal to increase the minimum income students can obtain through loans and bursaries will decrease the debt levels of graduates and allow them to concentrate on their studies rather than their finances.

Responding to the consultation publication UCU Scotland President, Terry Brotherstone, said: 'While we welcome increased support for students, this consultation is limited in scope. Both students and universities require additional funding if students are to experience the full value of university education.  Without such funding the learning experience will decline and students will suffer greater levels of debt.'

'We believe that the minimum income for university students must be increased even if the lack of funding leads to an increased student loan.  This scenario is preferable to students resorting to commercial loans and hours of part-time work both of which will impact on their studies.'

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