Debt increase shows need for student support

Scottish Liberal Democrats have called on the Scottish Government to make sure support is available for students after it emerged student debt is rising far more sharply in Scotland than the rest of the UK.

New analysis of student debt has shown that Scotland's students face the highest rise in total student debt since the mid 1990s. The rise comes after SNP ministers decreased the level of bursaries available to students, but increased the level of loans.

Commenting on the analysis, Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:

"The news that overall student debt rose more sharply in Scotland than the rest of the UK will no doubt surprise many. We have previously warned that the SNP's decision to reduce grants and replace them with loans could have a particular effect on those who need grants most. This increase in student debt is light-years away from the SNPs manifesto promise to scrap student debt altogether.

"Just as we fought for college students last year and the year before, Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to stand up for Scotland's students. If we are to enable more people to get on in life, we need to provide the right support which encourages people to take up that opportunity."

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