New figures published this week show that student loans under the SNP have soared as bursaries have been slashed.

Figures published by the Students Awards Agency for Scotland show that the average bursary has fallen by over 25 per cent under the SNP, while the average loan has increased by more than 124 per cent.

West Scotland MSP Neil Bibby said the figures showed that the student support review had to move to a grant based system, and called on the Scottish Government to bring forward plans to lift the repayment threshold for student loan repayments as matter of urgency.

Neil Bibby MSP said: “Once again, these figures show that too much of the student support package is weighted towards loans rather than grants and bursaries. Rather than abolish student debt as the SNP promised, they are saddling the poorest students with even more. It isn’t rocket science; if you slash grants and bursaries, students are forced to turn to more and more loans instead.

“It is totally absurd that students who start with the least end up owing the most. That’s unfair and stops far too many young people gaining a degree. Free tuition needs to be protected, but it has to be backed up by proper cost of living student support.

“We need to start taking steps on this now – starting by increasing the salary threshold at which graduates begin to pay back their student loan.”

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News