From education to employment

Scottish Government unveils mature student funding package

Mature or independent learners in Scotland are set to benefit from over £1,000 in support, following the announcement of more funding by the Scottish Government.

The new package of student funding targets those aged over 25 or who have been laid off their job because of the recession. Two million pounds has been confirmed to support students with children. Previously, independent students have had to make do solely on loans.

SNP MSP and Education Committee member Christina McKelvie, who reaffirmed her Government’s opposition to proposals from Labour and the Tories to charge for education, said: "Today’s announcement ensures education under an SNP Government is accessible to all. That is why we scrapped the student tuition fee introduced by Labour and that is why today’s announcement will see funding directed to independent students and student parents.

"A £1000 grant for 14,000 independent students, £2 million for childcare as well as access to the same loan support for independent students as for young students will make a real difference to many hard working older students and student parents who are turning to education to ensure job security in the future.

"Importantly this money will help those studying for HNC’s at our colleges as part of retraining in response to the recession, as well as those taking degrees at our universities."

Linda McTavish, Convener of Scotland’s Colleges’ Principal Convention, added: "Since the beginning of the recession, colleges have seen a significant increases in applications, many of which were from independent students. The announcement made today will provide better support for these students to gain the skills needed to bring Scotland out of recession."

The Scottish Government also agreed with the National Union of Students (NUS) to raise the amount available to all students through loans. In total 75,900 students in Scotland will now have access to increased support.

(Pictured: SNP MSP Christina McKelvie)

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