Student funding in further education

Research into the financial behaviour of further education students in Scotland, exploring demand for and potential impact of student loans amongst this group.

Annex A: Research Questions

A.1 The research questions were outlined in the tender document and discussed and signed off with the Scottish Government prior to the project start. The research questions are listed below.

  • What are the general attitudes to debt and taking out loans between the different equality groups, including knowledge of different types of loans (commercial and student)?
  • In general, are there specific groups more or less likely to take out commercial credit (bank overdrafts and/or credit cards) and/or "payday" style loans (i.e. those that are easy access and high interest)?
  • How would the introduction of FE loans impact on different groups of students? Exploring any differences by: age (including those over aged 24); disability; race; religion or belief; gender; sexual orientation; SIMD (particularly areas of deprivation) and mode of study (i.e. part-time or full-time).
  • Would FE loans make a difference to: (1) those in financial difficulty; and (2) those who have withdrawn from FE? (if it is feasible to explore the latter group.)
  • Are FE students taking out other forms of loans, such as commercial credit or "payday" loans, in the absence of a loan from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)?
  • If FE students had access to a SAAS loan, would it stop them taking out commercial credit or a "payday" loan? Or would they be likely to take on both loans (increasing debt)?
  • Do Higher Education (HE) students (who have access to SAAS loans) still go on to take out commercial credit and/or "payday" loans?
  • Is there demand from FE students to access student loans (based on evidence from the research participants)?



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