Higher Education Student Support for Scotland 2017-18

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 2017-18. 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 2017-18 academic session.

There were 147,920 full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students supported (those receiving any form of bursary, grant, fees or loans support), an increase of 3.1 per cent from 143,500 in 2016-17. Other key findings include:

  • The total amount of support was £882.7 million, an increase of 4.5 per cent from £844.7 million in 2016-17.
  • The average support provided per student rose from £5,890 in 2016-17 to £5,970 in 2017-18, up 1.4 per cent.
  • The total amount provided in non-repayable bursaries and grants increased by 8.9 per cent, from £70.1 million in 2016-17 to £76.3 million in 2017-18 – awarded to 53,620 students (up from 52,165 in 2016-17).
  • The total amount authorised in loans was £528.4 million, a 2.5% increase from £515.5 million in 2016-17, at an average of £5,290 per student.
  • There were 15,240 European Union (EU) students supported in 2017-18 (10.3 per cent of all students supported) who received £32.0 million of support - 3.6 per cent of the total amount of support given to all students.

A further 19,470 students were provided fee support whilst studying on a part-time basis in 2017-18. The total amount of support was £15.7 million at an average of £810 per student. This is an increase of around 1,400 students (from 18,065) and from an average of £800 per student, compared to 2016-17.

SAAS also administer support for students undertaking courses in pre-registration nursing and midwifery leading to the award of a degree. In 2017-18 there were 9,015 students receiving support through the Nursing and Midwifery Bursary (NMSB) scheme – compared to 8,910 in 2016-17. These students received £66.9 million in support at an average of £7,430 per student.

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


The full statistical publication is available at: http://www.saas.gov.uk/_forms/statistics_1718.pdf.

This publication contains the main statistical findings on students who received financial support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) in the 2017-18 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 2017-18 show a continuation of the impact of these changes.

It should be noted that in 2017-18 a Care Experienced Bursary of £7,625 was introduced for eligible undergraduate students (under the age of 26 on the first day of the academic year of their course), who had previously been looked after by a UK local authority. This publication contains the first release of data relating to this cohort of students.

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: www.gov.scot/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: www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About


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