• Kenneth Gibson MSP

£5.2 million Student Hardship Fund Launched


Students facing financial hardship due to the cost of living crisis and rising energy costs can now apply for more support.


The SNP Government has made £5.2 million available to help Higher Education students in financial hardship with basics like heating and other household costs. Since June 2021 £37 million of hardship funding has been made available.


The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) will meet colleges’ Further Education student support funding requirements, and is also providing a further £6.4 million for for FE students, in this academic year.


Higher and Further Education Minister Jamie Hepburn MSP has written to college and university principals, asking them to encourage students most in need to apply and to prioritise the allocation of funding.


To further support students, Mr Hepburn has announced:


  • £350 loan uplift for 2022/23 in higher education. This means that the most disadvantaged students can access £8,100 per year through bursary and loan.

  • The introduction of a new 12 monthly payment option in 2022-23 for higher education students receiving the Care Experienced Bursary, so support is also available over the summer months.


Kenneth Gibson MSP said:


“Students across North Ayrshire and Scotland are facing higher energy bills and increased financial hardship as a result of the cost of living crisis.


“You can also apply for support through the Fuel Insecurity Fund, which is distributed through the Fuel Bank Foundation, Advice Direct Scotland and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations.”


Extra financial support for students (discretionary funding)


Discretionary Fund and Coronavirus Fund - SAAS


The SFC notified colleges last week as part of the in-year redistribution of FE student support funds that colleges demands for funds for the remainder of Academic Year 2021/22 will be met in full.


In addition, the SFC is repurposing student support funds that were unspent in 2020/21 to give a further allocation of £6.4 million to colleges in academic year 2021/22. This ensures that discretionary fund support also remains available for Further Education students experiencing hardship.


ENDS