Broke Students, Broken System

Broke Students, Broken System

NUS Scotland: tertiary education system in Scotland is broken and failing students 

Download the full report here (PDF)

Download the plain text version here (Word)

Individual chapters can be found at the bottom of the page. 

Broke Students, Broken System outlines that students in Scotland are being let down by a dysfunctional system, in which decision making is influenced primarily by market forces rather than student experience, wellbeing, or outcomes

It acknowledges some progress in Higher and Further education reform since Scottish devolution 25 years ago but concludes that progress seems to have come to a halt, with Scotland’s education policy instead settling into a pattern defined by underfunding and a lack of ambition.  

Commenting, NUS Scotland President Ellie Gomersall said: 

“Students in Scotland have long been struggling under the pressure of trying to learn in an education system which has been underfunded, undervalued and in desperate need of a different approach. 

Education is our best route to tackling poverty and inequality, but the focus needs to shift on creating a system that benefits people, not profit. There is a lack of ambition to make this happen from those in Holyrood, so the student movement is determined to lead the way - and this report is just the beginning. 

The current system prioritises revenue over student wellbeing and erodes the concept of education as a public good. The student housing crisis is deepening, the cost of public transport is still unaffordable, the Scottish Government is slashing funding for universities and colleges - and all of this has a growing impact on our mental health. 

Those in power must read this report and act - we need profound change and now.“ 


Individual Chapters


Chapter 1: Funding Model

Chapter 2: Student Finance

Chapter 3: Housing

Chapter 4: Transport

Chapter 5: Mental Health

Conclusion & Bibliography 

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