Higher Education Student Support for Scotland 2016-17

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 2016-17. 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 2016-17 academic session.

There were 143,110 full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students supported (those receiving any form of bursary, grant, fees or loans support), an increase of 1.5 per cent from 141,000 in 2015-16.

Other key findings include:

  • The total amount of support was £834.8 million, an increase of 3.6 per cent from £805.8 million in 2015-16.
  • The average support provided per student rose from £5,720 in 2015-16 to £5,830 in 2016-17, up 1.9 per cent.
  • The total amount provided in non-repayable bursaries and grants increased by 4.7 per cent, from £66.1 million in 2015-16 to £70.1 million in 2016-17 – awarded to 52,165 students (up from 49,815 in 2015-16).
  • The total amount authorised in loans was £506.0 million, a 4.1% increase from £486.3 million in 2015-16, at an average of £5,300 per student.
  • There were 14,785 European Union (EU) students supported in 2016-17 (10.3 per cent of all students supported) who received £28.1 million of support - 3.4 per cent of the total amount of support given to all students.

A further 18,065 students were provided fee support whilst studying on a part-time or part-time distance learning basis in 2016-17. The total amount of support was £14.4 million at an average of £800 per student.  This is an increase of just under 1,500 students (from 16,575) and from an average of £780 per student, compared to 2015-16.

SAAS also administer support for students undertaking courses in pre-registration nursing and midwifery leading to the award of a degree. In 2016-17 there were 8,915 students receiving support through the Nursing and Midwifery Bursary (NMSB) scheme – compared to 8,790 in 2015-16.  These students received £62.7 million in support at an average of £7,030 per student.

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


Read the full statistical publication

This publication contains the main statistical findings on students who received financial support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) in the 2016-17 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 are 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 2016-17 show a continuation of the impact of these changes.

It should be noted that in 2016-17 the lowest income threshold for the Young Students’ Bursary (YSB) and Independent Students’ Bursary (ISB) were increased to cover households with an income under £19,000. The maximum amount awarded was also increased for both bursaries from £1,750 to £1,875 for YSB and from £750 to £875 for ISB.

Information on all aspects of student support provided by SAAS

The SLC website provides more information on student loans for Higher Education

Further information on Post-16 Education Reform

Official statistics are produced in accordance with professional standards – here is more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland


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