NUS Scotland (National Union of Students) have just sent a letter to Nicola Sturgeon asking for increased hardship and digital funding as well as calling for compensation on rent, tuition fees and no detriment policies in each college and university.
The letter was co-signed by 60 Student Association officers (including Ankit and Heloisa from ENSA).
A recent NUS Survey found that:
- 64 per cent of students say that Coronavirus has had some impact on their income
- Proportion of students in part-time employment has dropped to a fifth of students
- Students who do not work at all has jumped to 59 per cent compared to 27 per cent in July
- 73 per cent of students concerned about managing financially during the Covid-19 outbreak
- 14 per cent of students have used food banks during the pandemic
Matt Crilly, NUS Scotland President, said:
“These results highlight how widespread financial struggles are amongst the student body - the Scottish Government must intervene and offer urgent support to students facing hardship.
“While improvements to cost-of-living support introduced by the Scottish Government are welcome, they do not go far enough and need to be built on – now more than ever due to the economic devastation being caused by Covid-19.
“Students are being expected to pay rent for accommodation they can't use, while some are relying on foodbanks and increased debt just to make ends meet.
“Student leaders from across Scotland have today written to the First Minister seeking urgent financial support from the Scottish Government and universities to ensure no student is left to struggle financially and that every university has a no-detriment policy in place so that no student is academically disadvantaged.”
The letter sent to the First Minister can be read in full here.
*** UPDATE 28/01/2020 ***
"Students experiencing hardship as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) will be supported by £20 million of Scottish Government funding. A further £10 million has also been allocated to universities and colleges for income lost in providing rent rebates."
Statement from NUS President Matt Crilly: