D. Consultation questions
The key findings support consideration of the changes presented below. Views are invited on these, as well as responses to the underlying questions:
1 – Greater alignment of financial support for students across colleges and universities with increased fairness in what all students can access;
Rationale: to create parity for all students whatever the level of study
1.1 Should there be parity in funding levels available to all students, based more on need rather than the level of study?
1.2 How could parity be achieved and how can we maximise the income available to students?
1.3 How can parity in funding be achieved without having a negative impact on benefits?
1.4 What is the most effective way to determine which students are most in need of bursary support?
2 - A simplification and clarification of the systems used to provide financial support to students in Scotland today;
Rationale: to remove some of the unnecessary complexities and enhance the student experience
2.1 What are the key features of the current system that may deter or make it more difficult for students to access, or stay in college or university?
2.2 Do any of the current rules and/or practices in place make it harder to access or maintain study?
2.3 How could the way in which financial support is delivered to students at college or university be improved?
3 - Better communication of the funding available, including a clear explanation of the repayment terms of student loans;
Rationale: to assist students and prospective students to understand what financial support is available and when and how they access it
3.1 What type of information on funding would be helpful to students – both prospective and continuing?
3.2 How and where should that information be made available? Would a particular format be more helpful?
3.3 When should potential students first be given information on financial packages of student support?
3.4 What role should colleges / universities/ schools play in providing information on student support?
3.5 What more could be done to support parents/guardians to better understand the student support funding available?
3.6 What could be done to help students understand more about student loans, including how and when they are repaid?
4 - Further consideration of the levels of funding required for all students and the funding mix.
Rationale: to provide more funding, particularly for students from the most deprived backgrounds, and funding choices for students
4.1 Should a 'minimum income' guarantee be introduced across all students?
4.2 What should the 'minimum income' guarantee be, and why? Should it be linked to the Living Wage?
4.3 Under what circumstances should a 'minimum income' apply?
4.4 What is the appropriate balance of bursary / loans within a 'minimum income'?
4.5 Rather than only Higher Education students, should all students have the option to access student loans, regardless of their level of study at college or university (in addition to existing bursary entitlement)?
4.6 Are there ways that the terms and conditions attached to student loans ( e.g. interest rate or repayment threshold) could be reviewed to support consideration of extension to all students?
5 - Any other comments, ideas and innovations
5.1 Please use this space to provide any other comments which you believe are relevant to the review. In addition, your ideas and innovative suggestions are welcomed to help inform our final report on how the student support system can be fit for the future.
Email: Jennifer Finn, StudentSupportReview@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House