From education to employment

NUS Scotland demand Student Summer Payment as cost-of-living crisis deepens

male walking through doors

NUS Scotland has today (Friday 1 July 2022) called on the Scottish Government to “urgently” introduce a Student Summer Payment, as new research finds 63% of students have experienced hardship during the summer months.

The Scottish Government has this week published the results of a survey of 758 college and university students in Scotland on experiences of financial support in summer 2021. This has found:

  • 57% of respondents struggled with financial support / income over the summer more than they did during term time
  • 63% of respondents experienced financial hardship over the summer, rising to 77% for higher education students in Scotland’s colleges
  • Just 24% had applied for discretionary hardship support and, of those that applied, 57% said the process was either complicated or required too much additional information/evidence

The new data corroborates NUS Scotland’s Broke report, published in February 2022 where more than half (56%) of the 3,500 respondents to our survey said it was hard to cope financially over the summer – 2% higher than when we asked students the same question in 2010.

Kirsten Koss is Vice-President (Aberdeen/Altens) at North East Scotland College Students’ Association, she said:

“These figures are shocking and back up what NUS Scotland’s own research has shown – most students across Scotland face yet another summer of hardship, including almost 4 in 5 higher education students in colleges.

“Our bills are rising the same as everyone else but we’re cut off from student support during the summer; we’ve been excluded from the Scottish Government’s £150 cost-of-living payment; and most of us aren’t eligible for benefits so we won’t get the UK Government’s cost-of-living payment either.

“Most students don’t apply for the hardship funding available and no wonder – this survey shows that it can be a complicated and frustrating process that often doesn’t even result in you getting the money you need to get by.

“The Scottish Government made big promises on student support in last years election, but we can’t pay our bills with promises. We urgently need a Student Summer Payment so that no student falls into poverty between terms.”

Related Articles