NUS Scotland has issued a warning that the Scottish Government’s budget for 2023-24 will create an education system that is only accessible to the wealthiest.
The Scottish 2023 Budget, published this afternoon, pledges a real term cut to university and college budgets, with only £46 million of additional resource committed to universities and colleges in Scotland. This comes alongside no action on the cost-of-living support for students and apprentices.
Ellie Gomersall, NUS Scotland President said:
“This is a government that has turned its back on students. The Budget offers no meaningful support in response to the cost-of-living crisis Scotland’s students are facing.
“Student mental health is plummeting. Accommodation prices are through the roof. Students can’t afford the essentials – like heating or the cost of public transport.
“Despite their manifesto commitment to raise student support, the Scottish Government has left it stagnant, providing students with a real terms cut in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.
“We’re pleased that the Scottish Government have responded to our call to scrap peak train fares by announcing a pilot scheme but this is a baby step in a cost-of-living crisis that calls for confident strides.
“This Budget was an opportunity for the government to use its full range of powers to achieve truly progressive taxation so that the richest can support those who don’t have enough to survive – including students.
“35% of students have considered dropping out because they can’t afford to stay in education. That number will escalate the longer Ministers bury their heads in the sand and continue to delay their manifesto promises to students.”