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Scottish Funding Council announces £5m Digital Poverty fund to tackle digital exclusion among disadvantaged students

NUS Scotland president, Matt Crilly

@NUSScotland welcomes £5m Digital Poverty fund to help disadvantaged students bridge the “digital divide” 

A new £5 million fund has been created to help colleges and universities tackle digital exclusion among disadvantaged students, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has announced.

The cash is being made available to institutions to help bridge the “digital divide” by providing additional support to Scotland’s most disadvantaged students with the digital devices they need to access learning.

The funding is in addition to a range of recent additional support for Scotland’s colleges and universities in their fight against the effects of Covid-19, which includes £75 million to protect world-leading university research, £10 million for estates development, and early access to £11.4m of Higher Education Hardship Funds.

Commenting, NUS Scotland president, Matt Crilly, said:

“Today’s announcement is very welcome. As students and apprentices return to a blended model of learning, it is more important than ever that they have access to the laptops, internet, and equipment that they will need to succeed in their studies.

“Investment in digital support is positive news for students across Scotland, particularly as we see a rise in the number of working class students gaining a place in colleges and universities this year, for whom the cost of learning is often the greatest.”

SFC is responsible for allocating public funds to colleges and universities in support of Scottish Government priorities. 

SFC’s funding contributes towards the costs of learning and teaching, skills development, research, innovation and other costs such as staff, buildings and equipment in Scotland’s 19 universities and 26 colleges. 

SFC’s mission is to invest in the development of a coherent college and university system which, through enhanced learning, research and knowledge exchange, leads to improved economic, educational, social, civic, and cultural outcomes for the people of Scotland.

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