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Statistics Publication Notice: Lifelong Learning Series - STUDENT AWARDS IN SCOTLAND 2004-05

DescriptionInformation on support provided by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to higher education students at Scotland’s higher education institutions and elsewhere covering the period 1999-00 to 2004-05.
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateDecember 14, 2005


14 th December 2005
ISBN 0 7559 1294 2 (Web only publication)

This document is also available in pdf format (236k)

Statistics on Student Awards In Scotland 2004-05 are being released today on the Scottish Executive website. These figures provide information on support provided by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland ( SAAS) to higher education students at Scotland's higher education institutions and elsewhere covering the period 1999-00 to 2004-05. These figures supersede those published by the Executive in December 2004.

The main findings are:-
  • The level of support administered by SAAS decreased by 5.4 per cent to £417 million in 2004/05.
  • In 2004/05 awards decreased by 11.4 per cent, fee payments increased by 1.1 per cent and the value of loan authorisations decreased by 6.6 per cent.
  • In 2004/05 student support comprised 19 per cent from the various student award schemes, 31 per cent in the form of fee payments and 50 per cent in student loan authorisations.
  • In 2004-05, 74 per cent of students who received SAAS support were studying for a first degree. This is consistent with previous years.
  • In each year within the period 1999/00 to 2004/05 over 95 per cent of the students receiving SAAS support were Scots domiciled.
  • In 2004/05 award payments totalled £80 million, a decrease of 11.4 per cent. This decrease is as a result of the abolition of the dependants grant for children.
  • Even with the abolition of this grant, the value of awards specifically targeted to young students, students with dependents and students with disabilities has increased by over 188 per cent between 1999/00 and 2004/05 to £58 million.

The following tables are available on the Scottish Executive Statistics website:http://www.scotland.gov.uk/about/ASD/ELL-EAS6/00017875/page1648662713.aspx

Table 1: Students receiving support and/or assessed for loans by SAAS, 1999/00-2004/05
Table 2: All students receiving support from SAAS, 1999/00-2004/05 Location of study and institution type
Table 3: All students receiving support from SAAS, 1999/00-2004/05 Gender and age
Table 4: All students receiving support from SAAS, 1999/00-2004/05 Level of study & domicile
Table 5: Students receiving fee support from SAAS and total amount paid, 1999/00-2004/05
Table 6: Students assessed by SAAS as entitled to loans and total entitlement, 1999/00-2004/05
Table 7: Students receiving awards from SAAS and total amount paid, 1999/00-2004/05
Table 8: Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowance from SAAS, 1999/00-2004/05 Disability type & total amount paid
Table 9: Parental/spousal residual income details of students receiving support from SAAS, 2004/05
Table 10: Students receiving support from SAAS, 2004/05 Location, type of institution & level of support


1. The information presented in this News Release is provided by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland ( SAAS), and analysed by the Scottish Executive.

2. SAAS administers the student support arrangements for Scottish domiciled higher education students studying throughout the UK and EU students studying in Scotland.

3. Most full-time first degree courses and equivalent level qualifications are covered by SAAS student support, as well as the postgraduate teaching qualifications and some sub-degree courses. Certain other postgraduate qualifications are also covered. Nursing and Midwifery bursary students are supported by SAAS but are not covered in this publication.

4. Since 2000/01, support for new entrants has consisted of up to 3 elements: tuition fees paid by SAAS on behalf of all eligible students (direct to the institution of study); living cost support through a loan extended by the Student Loans Company; and targeted allowances to certain groups of students ( e.g. young students, students with disabilities, students with dependents).

5. Over the period covered in this publication several changes to the student support package available through SAAS occurred. The main changes are outlined below.

Grants & Awards

Standard Maintenance Allowance only applies to students who entered the system before 1998/99. In 2001/02 new grants targeted towards young students and students with dependants were introduced. The share of all grants and awards targeted toward students with dependents, students with disabilities, young students and mature students rose from 24 per cent in 1999/00 to 73 per cent in 2004/05.

The Dependants Grant for children and the School Meals Grant were abolished in 2004-05, following the introduction of the new tax credits system.

Fee Payments

Means tested tuition fee payments were introduced in 1998/99 and were abolished in 2000/01. This explains the lower level of fee payments at that time.

Loan Assessments

Prior to 1999/00 students applied for a loan through their institution and not SAAS. From 1999/00 onwards new entrants have applied to SAAS for a loan. SAAS calculates a student's loan entitlement and the Student Loans Company ( SLC) extends the loan. The data on loans included in this publication relate to the level of loans assessed by SAAS. This might not match the final loan that a student draws from SLC due to a number of factors such as non-completion of course. Details on loans issued under previous arrangements in the period before 1999/00 are not included in this publication.

6. The level of means tested support payable to students is dependent on the unearned income of the student as well as his/her parents' (or spouse's) residual income. The residual income of the parent(s) or spouse is calculated as the total income from all sources (including earned income from employment, income from property / pensions / benefits, interest from savings, etc.) less allowable deductions (such as superannuation contributions, retirement annuity premiums, life assurance premiums (up to 2001-02), interest paid on loans (up to 2001-02), allowances for dependants, etc.). The residual income is then used as the basis for means testing for awards, fee payments and loans as appropriate.

7. The following classification has been used in this publication to define the level of study of students receiving support. This classification is consistent with other Scottish Executive National Statistics publications on higher education.

  • Postgraduate: Students attending courses where a first degree qualification is an entry requirement. This includes students doing research or on a course leading to a higher degree, postgraduate diploma or equivalent.
  • First Degree: Students on courses leading to a first degree or equivalent.
  • Sub-Degree: Students on courses classified as higher education but not classified as postgraduate or first degree, such as HNCs and HNDs.

A small number of the qualification types supported by SAAS do not obviously fall into postgraduate/first degree/other undergraduate levels. For the purposes of this publication these have been coded at first degree level.

8. This is a National Statistics publication. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.

9. This news release, together with associated tables listed above, is published on the Scottish Executive website at the following address: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/about/ASD/ELL-EAS6/00017875/page1648662713.aspx

10. Further information on all aspects of student support provided by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland, including types of support and eligibility, can be found on their website at the following address: https://www.saas.gov.uk/

For further information ( non-media), enquiries and comments on this news release, please contact:

Andrew Murray
Scottish Executive
Enterprise Transport & Lifelong Learning Department
Analytical Services
3 rd Floor, Meridian Court
5 Cadogan Street
G2 6AT

Tel. (0141) 242 0271
Fax. (0141) 242 5455

For media enquiries please contact:

Claire Delaney
Scottish Executive
International and Communications Group
Tel: (0141) 242 5666