Free tuition keeps debt down
The Scottish Government’s decision to abolish tuition fees for Scottish students is helping to keep debt levels lower among Scottish students.
Figures released today by the Student Loans Company showed that the average student loan debt for Scots who have just become liable to repay their loans was the lowest in the UK, at £6,480. This compares to average of £17,140 in England, £13,650 in Wales and £15,880 in Northern Ireland.
Education Secretary Michael Russell said:
“Students and parents have been assured for sometime that higher education is and will remain free for Scots studying in Scotland. We also have a generous package of student support – two clear reasons for our students having the lowest debt levels in the UK.
“But we want to do more and that’s why we are working to deliver a minimum income of £7,000 a year for the most vulnerable students. I also recognise that more families are under financial pressure, so my aim is to improve the support available to all students.
“It is also important that students who do need to borrow extra money for their studies, are aware that a student loan is the most cost effective option. It isn’t paid back until the borrower is earning and average repayments are between £410 and £780 a year.
“We want Scotland to be the best place in the world to grow up and the decisions we are taking around support at university will help deliver this ambition and ensure our young people are able to play their part in Scotland’s economic success in years to come.”