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Scottish Budget Risks Widening Access Student Union Warns

NUS Scotland President Matt Crilly

The National Union of Students (@nusuk) for Scotland has issued a warning over “inadequate funding” for colleges and universities in the draft Scottish budget as the number of students from SIMD20 postcodes reaches record high.

Higher Education Student Statistics, published this week, show a new overall record number of students enrolling in Scottish institutions – an increase of 8.6% compared to last year. This includes a new record high of Scottish domiciled students enrolling at university.

However, the Scottish budget presented debated at stage one in Parliament yesterday (27th January) fails to provide additional resource for these students and delivers a real-terms cut to further and higher education. The budget is a cut to the core funding of £23.9m for colleges in the academic year 2022/23 because of inflation and a five per cent reduction in funding for universities in real-terms.

Matt Crilly NUS Scotland President said:

“This budget threatens to erode the progress made towards making education accessible to all. While it is welcome that more students than ever are entering education from the most deprived areas in Scotland it is never enough to simply get students in the door.

“Students need support once they enter university or college, to ensure they can stay, thrive and complete their studies. However, we have been living with the Scottish Government delivering real-terms cuts to our education for years, which threatens to jeopardise progress being made and is yet another blow for students.

“It should be the priority of this Government to invest in the futures of the students and young people who have sacrificed so much in recent years.”

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