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Review of student support

Published: 25 Oct 2016 09:32
Part of:
Education

Jayne-Anne Gadhia to chair review group.

The independent chair of the review in to the effectiveness of the student support system in Scotland has been appointed.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money, will spearhead the Review of Student Support, which will assess whether college and university students receive a fair and effective package of support, and make recommendations for improvement.

The review's remit will include exploring:

  • The most effective support for the poorest and most vulnerable students
  • The balance of support available to those in further and higher education
  • The current repayment threshold and period for student loan debt

The announcement comes as new statistics from the Students Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) show the number of full-time higher education students supported increased by 1.2% to 141,000 in 2015-16, providing an average of £5,720 per student, a 2% annual rise.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education & Science, said:

"As part of our Programme for Government, we committed to reviewing student support to make sure the system is fair and effective. Therefore I am delighted to announce that Jayne-Anne Gadhia has been appointed to this key role.

"With such strong financial experience, and already contributing to Scottish education as a member of the International Council of Education Advisers, Jayne-Anne will provide a fresh perspective to the work of the review. I look forward to the recommendations that the review group will offer."

Jayne-Anne Gadhia said:

"It is important to ensure the student support system is fit for purpose, fair and firmly focused on meeting the needs of all students in further and higher education, particularly the most vulnerable. As such, I welcome the opportunity to undertake a comprehensive review of the current systems of student support in Scotland."

Notes to editors

The Review of Student Support will appoint members and meet for the first time before the end of this year. Membership will cover a diverse range of interests and stakeholders. The review group will report its findings to the Scottish Government by autumn 2017.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia has been CEO of Virgin Money since 2007, when she was the first female chief executive of a publicly-listed UK bank. She is a member of the Scottish Government's International Council of Education Advisers, the Financial Services Advisory Board and the Financial Conduct Authority Practitioner Panel Advisory Group. Last year the UK Government asked her to lead a review into the representation of women in senior managerial roles in financial services.

The SAAS Higher Education Student Support in Scotland 2015-16 statistics are available at:

http://www.saas.gov.uk/_forms/statistics_1516.pdf