Investigation needed into SAAS fiasco

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has called for the Education Secretary to make an urgent statement to parliament to explain why students are still waiting to receive their loans and bursaries from the Students Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

It was revealed today that 7,572 students have yet to receive their payments, even though many Scottish Universities began their term two months ago.

Mr McArthur has backed NUS calls for an urgent investigation into the matter.
Commenting, Mr McArthur said:

“The Education Secretary needs to sort this out and do it quickly. It is inexcusable that thousands of students do not yet have the loans and bursaries they need to pay for food and rent.

“Only last month Michael Russell was saying students could look forward to their studies in the knowledge that their financial support package was in place. Either he was not aware of the scale of the problem or he decided to bluster his way through it.

“The Education Secretary should make an urgent statement to parliament to provide clarity on this developing situation. I also think NUS Scotland are right to call for an investigation. The Education Secretary must explain how he managed to fail thousands of students across Scotland.

“In the absence of entitled SAAS payments, the Education Secretary must ensure that Scottish Universities are signposting students towards discretionary funds.”