First Minister assures students ‘should not lose their bursary’
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that no students striking during the climate protests will be at threat of losing their bursary or student support.
The move comes after NUS Scotland wrote to the Scottish Government seeking assurances that students will not be penalised “financially, academically, or otherwise” as a result of taking part IN the global climate strikes.
The Scottish Government had initially indicated that any decision on removal of bursary would be at the discretion of individual institutions. The intervention from the First Minister came during a First Ministers Questions, responding to West of Scotland MSP, Ross Greer.
First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said:
“My view is very clear, students engaging in legitimate, peaceful protest should not lose their bursary for doing that.
“I am more than happy for Further Education Minister to correspond with the member about the detail of those assurances, so students know they can take part in these protests without these concerns”
Commenting, NUS Scotland President Liam McCabe said:
“We are delighted to have secured this commitment from the First Minister that no student in Scotland will lose bursary or student support as a result of participating in the climate action strikes.
"The challenges we face in this era of climate catastrophe require the full involvement of our student movement. We appreciate that this has been recognised by the Scottish Government and that students can take part in protests without fear of financial penalties.
Ross Greer MSP added:
“This climate strike will be a historic moment in our struggle against this unfolding crisis. Thousands of students in Scotland are preparing to take part and it would be entirely wrong to punish those on the lowest incomes for doing so, by taking away the bursaries they are entitled to.
"I’m glad that the First Minister has finally confirmed her position that no bursaries should be withdrawn. Colleges across the country should take this on board and support rather than punish students taking part in this important moment of protest.
A Scottish government spokesperson said:
"We are pleased to see our young people actively engaging on the issue of climate change but student absence is rightly a matter for individual colleges and universities to consider.”