Written Question from Sarah Boyack MSP and Answer from Scottish Government

Sarah Boyack MSP, one of the regional MSPs for Lothian, has been supporting our campaign.

She recently asked a written question of the Scottish Government on issues surrounding PG funding.  The question, and the response, is reproduced below:

Sarah Boyack (Lothian) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive how much has been spent on targeted financial support for postgraduate students in each year since 2007-08, broken down by discipline.  (S4W-07141)

Mr Michael Russell: There are several funding options for postgraduate students.  Support for postgraduate research students is generally provided through the Research Councils with support for vocational taught postgraduate courses provided largely through the Student Awards Agency for Scotland  (SAAS). Postgraduate initial teacher training is supported through the main undergraduate student support programme and social work qualifications receive support through the Scottish Social Services Council.

SAAS does not hold information on which academic disciplines students study at postgraduate level.

The total spend on postgraduate students supported through the Postgraduate Students’ Allowances
Scheme (PSAS) was £10.1m in 2007-08, £10.7m in 2008-09, £9.6m in 2009-10, £7.7m in 2010-11 and £7.6m in 2011-12.

The living cost element of PSAS was discontinued in academic year 2010-11 to fund an increase in the number of students eligible to receive tuition fee support. The number of places available increased from 1,820 to 2,700.

The most interesting aspect of this answer was the confirmation of the discontinuation of the living cost element of PSAS, which was more recent that I had expected.  It was also interesting to see quite how much money has been taken out of the PSAS scheme over the past few years – basically around 25% or £2.6m.

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