Higher Education Student Support for Scotland 2018-2019

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published statistics on Higher Education Student Support in Scotland 2018-2019 in a new look publication. The figures show an increase in both the number of students supported and the amount of support provided by the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for those studying in Higher Education in the 2018-2019 academic session.

There were 148,890 full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students supported (those receiving any form of bursary, grant, fees or loans support), an increase of 0.7 per cent from 147,920 in 2017-2018. Other key findings include:

• The total amount of support for full-time students was £894.3 million, an increase of 1.3 per cent from £882.7 million in 2017-2018.
• The average support provided per full-time student was £6,010 – an increase from 5,970 in 2017-2018.
• The total amount provided in non-repayable bursaries and grants for full-time students increased by 5.3 per cent, from £76.3 million in 2017-2018 to £80.3 million in 2018-2019 – awarded to 54,550 students (up from 53,620 in 2017-2018).
• The total amount authorised in loans was £533.6 million, a 1.0% increase from £528.4 million in 2017-2018, at an average of £5,300 per student.
• There were 15,310 European Union (EU) students supported in 2018-2019 (10.3 per cent of all full-time students supported) who received £32.1 million of support - 3.6 per cent of the total amount of support given to all students.

A further 20,740 students were provided fee support whilst studying on a part-time basis in 2018-2019. The total amount of support was £17.2 million at an average of £830 per student. This is an increase of around 1,300 students (from 19,470) - up by 6.5% - and from an average of £810 per student, compared to 2017-2018.

SAAS also administers support for students undertaking courses in pre-registration nursing and midwifery leading to the award of a degree. In 2018-2019 there were 9,180 students receiving support through the Nursing and Midwifery Bursary (NMSB) scheme – compared to 9,010 in 2017-2018 (up 1.9%). These students received £70.0 million in support at an average of £7,620 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 and background documentation is available at: https://saas.gov.uk/about_us/statistics.htm.

This publication contains the main statistical findings on students who received financial support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) in the 2018-2019 academic session. SAAS provide support to eligible Scottish 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 loans.

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.

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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