Responding to the First Minister’s Programme for Government statement, NUS Scotland (@NUSScotland) President Matt Crilly said:
“NUS Scotland is pleased that the Scottish Government will take forward many of our priorities in the year ahead – particularly a Student Mental Health Action Plan, addressing the affordability of student housing and digital exclusion.
“We welcome proposals for a new student exchange programme to replace Erasmus+ that goes beyond the inadequate Turing Scheme which is already disadvantaging our college students. This work must now proceed at pace to ensure students and apprentices can access this scheme next year.
“Many students who receive benefits see their student support payments clawed back by the DWP – that’s why we’re pleased that the Scottish Government has heeded our call for a Special Support Payment to ensure they no longer lose out.
“With one in ten students using foodbanks now, commitments to reforming the student support system are welcome but we need a system of year-round support, based on grants not loans, sooner rather than later.”