Publication - Agreement

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Further Education/Higher Education Student Hardship Task Force: terms of reference

Published: 2 Mar 2021

Terms of reference for the COVID-19 short life Student Hardship Task Force.

Published:
2 Mar 2021
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Further Education/Higher Education Student Hardship Task Force: terms of reference

Purpose and scope 

The core purpose of this short life group is to assess the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on student hardship and to determine if the mechanisms and measures currently in place are sufficient to mitigate against student hardship in Further (FE) and Higher Education (HE).

Agreed responsibility

Members of the Task Force will:

  • determine the financial hardship issues that have arisen specifically for students as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • collate information on existing good practice and work underway across the sector and where that good practice is being delivered in regional areas, seek to consider if that can be delivered throughout all of Scotland
  • assess the effectiveness of Scottish Government support to students for hardship and discretionary funds delivered through the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS), Scottish Funding Council (SFC), universities and colleges
  • present recommendations for rapid solutions to improve the Scottish Government’s support for all FE and HE students in Scotland currently facing hardship as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • produce short, sharp and focussed updates on taskforce recommendations for Ministers to consider

Transparency

The group should acknowledge the constraints on public funding, make connections with relevant policy development across other parts of SG and the administration of benefits by both the Scottish and UK governments, of any change to support for students in hardship. Short, sharp and focussed updates on taskforce recommendations will be for Scottish Ministers to consider.  

Membership

The Task Force membership will consist of:

  • Scottish Government
  • Student Awards Agency Scotland
  • Scottish Funding Council
  • Universities Scotland
  • Colleges Scotland
  • NUS Scotland
  • student representatives
  • National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA)
  • Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)
  • Further Education Student Support Advisory Group (FESSAG)

Other representative bodies will be invited to specific themed meetings to share their expertise and insight. 

Membership will commence on 8 February 2021 and will be effective until Summer 2021 at which time this will be reviewed.  

Secretariat 

The secretariat function will be provided by Scottish Government officials.

Frequency of meetings

The Task Force will meet approx. every 3 weeks – which will be kept under review by the group.