Higher Education Student Support for Scotland 2015-16

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

**Issued on behalf of the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)**

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published statistics on Higher Education Student Support in Scotland 2015-16.

The figures show that the number of students supported and the amount of support provided by the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for those studying in higher education increased in the 2015-16 academic session.

There were 141,000 full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students supported (those receiving any form of bursary, grant, fees or loans support), an increase of 1.2% from 139,370 in 2014-15. Other key findings include:

  • Total support was £805.8 million, an increase of 3.1% from £781.3 million in 2014-15
  • The average support provided per student rose from £5,610 in 2014-15 to £5,720 in 2015-16, up 2%
  • The total provided in non-repayable bursaries and grants increased by 4%, from £63.6 million in 2014-15 to £66.1 million in 2015-16 – awarded to 49,815 students (down from 52,315 in 2014-15)
  • The total authorised in loans was £486.3 million, a 3.7% increase from £468.8 million in 2014-15, at an average of £5,290 per student
  • There were 14,705 European Union (EU) students supported in 2015-16 (10.4% of all students supported) who received £28 million - 3.5% of the total support given to all students

A further 16,575 students were provided fee support while studying on a part-time or part-time distance learning basis in 2015-16. The total support was £12.8 million at an average of £780 per student. This is an increase of just under 1,000 students (from 15,585) and from an average of £730 per student, compared to 2014-15.

SAAS also administer support for students undertaking courses in pre-registration nursing and midwifery leading to the award of a degree. In 2015-16 there were 8,790 students receiving support through the Nursing and Midwifery Bursary (NMSB) scheme – compared to 8,425 in 2014-15. These students received £61.1 million in support at an average of £6,950 per student.

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes to editors

The full statistical publication is available at: http://www.saas.gov.uk/_forms/statistics_1516.pdf.

This publication contains the main statistical findings on students who received financial support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) in the 2015-16 academic session. SAAS provide support to Scottish domiciled Higher Education students studying throughout the United Kingdom (UK), and to some outside the UK, as well as European Union (EU) students studying in Scotland. These courses at Higher National Certificate (HNC) level and above. These can be taken either at college or at university, and include those studying for certain postgraduate qualifications.

Financial support covers non-repayable bursaries and grants paid to students, the payment of tuition fees or provision of fee loans, and the authorisation for living cost loans. The Student Loans Company (SLC) are responsible for administering the loans.

A number of changes were made in 2013-14 to simplify the student support system as part of the Post 16 Education Reform Program. This meant that the types and value of the different elements of support that students were entitled to changed substantially from 2012-13. The results for 2015-16 show a continuation of the impact of these changes.

It should be noted that in 2015-16 an additional £125 in bursary support (paid as an ad-hoc payment) was paid to eligible students receiving either the Young Students’ Bursary (YSB) or Independent Students’ Bursary (ISB) with a household income under £24,000. The additional £125 bursary is reflected in an increase to the average amount of bursary and grant support per student of £1,330 in 2015-16, compared to £1,220 in 2014-15.

Information on all aspects of student support provided by SAAS can be found at: www.saas.gov.uk.

The SLC website provides more information on student loans for Higher Education: www.slc.co.uk.

Further information on Post-16 Education Reform is available from: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Education/post16reform

Official statistics are produced in accordance with professional standards – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About


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