Edinburgh University Announces Top-Up Bursaries for Most-Disadvantaged DPLP Students

Writing to all applicants to study the DPLP at Edinburgh University’s Centre of Professional Legal Practice, the Director, Ms Caroline Colliston stated:

In addition to [the Scottish Government’s loan worth £3,400, which covers half the cost of the fees] the University is making available 100 Postgraduate Bursaries of £1000 each.

We are now pleased to announce that recipients of the PTFL and University Postgraduate Bursary who have previously studied at Edinburgh Law School and who were members of the LEAPS or Pathways Plus Schemes or in receipt of an Access Bursary will be entitled to apply for a top-up bursary that will cover the remainder of the tuition fees and the materials cost for the Diploma. This additional bursary will be up to £2250 and further details of how to apply will be sent with offer communications. We would therefore encourage all eligible students to apply for the PTFL and University Postgraduate Bursary as soon as possible.

This is clearly welcome news to the students who will be eligible for these bursaries.  The LEAPS and Pathways Plus schemes are those that identify and support candidates for undergraduate study who would otherwise be unlikely to attend University.  So this scheme will benefit many of those who would find it most difficult to undertake the DPLP otherwise.  Further details on the £1000 University Postgraduate Bursary is here, although it is noted that the 100 places is not just limited to DPLP students.

However, the positive news must be balanced against the fact that students are still required to self-fund their living costs and are not eligible for student loans for living costs.  This still represents a massive funding gap.  Also, it is not known whether other Universities will be as generous as Edinburgh appears to be.  Finally, there will be a significant number of students who do not meet the requirements to qualify for the top-up bursary, and for whom the costs of studying may well still be prohibitive.

But at least it can’t be said that the Universities (or at least Edinburgh University) are not doing what they can to help.  What we really need to see now is the Scottish Government acting to extend means-tested loans for living costs to DPLP students.

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