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Higher Education Student Support for Scotland 2014-15

Published: 27 Oct 2015 09:30
Part of:
Education, Statistics

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 2014-15. The figures show that 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 increased in the 2014-15 academic session.

There were 139,370 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 137,270 in 2013-14. Other key findings include:

  • The total amount of support was £781.3 million, an increase of 6.3 per cent from £734.7 million in 2013-14.
  • The average support provided per student rose from £5,350 in 2013-14 to £5,610 in 2014-15, up 4.9 per cent.
  • The total amount provided in non-repayable bursaries and grants decreased by around two per cent, from £64.9 million in 2013-14 to £63.6 million in 2014-15 – awarded to 52,315 students in 2014-15.
  • The total amount authorised in loans was £468.8 million at an average of £5,270 per student (a 5 per cent increase from £5,020 in 2013-14).
  • There were 14,440 European Union (EU) students supported in 2014-15 (10.4 per cent of all students supported) who received £27.1 million of support - 3.5 per cent of the total amount of support given to all students (similar to 2013-14).

A further 15,585 students were provided fee support whilst studying on a part-time or part-time distance learning basis in 2014-15. The total amount of support was £11.4 million at an average of £730 per student. This is an increase of 715 students (14,870) and from an average of £700 per student, compared to 2013-14.

SAAS also administer support for students undertaking courses in pre-registration nursing and midwifery leading to the award of a degree or diploma in Higher Education. In 2013-14 there were 8,225 students receiving support through the Nursing and Midwifery Bursary (NMSB) scheme – compared to 8,755 in 2012-13. These students received £56.6 million in support at an average of £6,880 per student. The 2014-15 session is not complete for all NMSB students, though there have been 8,415 students supported so far.

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

Notes to editors

The full statistical publication is available at:

This publication contains the main statistical findings on students who received financial support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) in the 2014-15 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 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 paying living cost 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 students were entitled to changed substantially from 2012-13. The results for 2014-15 show a continuation of change in student numbers for different cohorts (e.g. numbers receiving loan support) but to a much smaller extent.

Information on all aspects of student support provided by SAAS can be found at:

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

Further information on Post-16 Education Reform is available from:

Official statistics are produced in accordance with professional standards – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: