Letter to Local MSPs

In addition to sending the letter to the Cabinet Secretary, I have also sent a copy to all the Lothian list MSPs (Sarah Boyack, Kezia Dugdale, Neil Findlay (all Lab), Gavin Brown, David McLetchie (both Con), Alison Jonstone (Green) and Margo MacDonald (Ind)) plus Marco Biagi (SNP), the constituency MSP for Old College.

The email accompanying the letter goes like this:

Dear Mr Biagi, Ms Boyack, Mr Brown, Ms Dugdale, Mr Findlay, Ms Johnstone, Ms MacDonald and Mr McLetchie,

I am writing on behalf of the University of Edinburgh Law Students’ Council to you in your capacity as the local MSPs for the constituency and region in which our University is located. I am also conscious that two of you are involved in the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee, so may have a particular interest in this issue.

As you can see from the enclosed letter, we have written to the Scottish Government to ask that student loan funding for living costs is extended to cover students studying on the 1-year Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (DPLP). This is a compulsory part of the route for those seeking to enter the Scottish Legal Profession. Whilst it is to be welcomed that, as part of the recently announced changes to postgraduate funding, loans covering 50% of course fees are now available to all, loans for living costs are not available. We believe that this continues the situation where there are significant hurdles to entry to the legal profession for those for whom parental support or funding from savings is not an option.

We would ask for your support in asking the Scottish Government to extend student loans to cover this course.

We would also welcome any advice as to how we can pursue this issue further, and would be delighted to discuss the issue further with any of you, either by phone, email or in person.

I will post an update with any responses.


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