Financial Aid Applicants
Recent statistics have shown that Aberdeen University received a total of 7,025 applicants requesting financial aid within the past five years, with a total of 1,337 just this past year.
According to research by the Scottish Liberal Democrats, the university, operating through a slightly different system to others in the country, received the highest number of requests for financial help each year for the past three years.
The university that received the lowest count among established universities is Robert Gordon University with a total of 1,349 applicants in the previous five years.
Across the whole of Scotland, 53,326 applications were submitted in five years with 9,772 of them requested in 2017.
The spokesperson for the Scottish Lib Dem education, Tavish Scott, stated: “These figures show that in the last five years, tens of thousands of students at Scottish universities have had to reach out to university authorities to say that they are struggling to keep their heads above water”. He also said that, “This is a desperate record.”
A spokesperson for Aberdeen University declared: “The university provides discretionary funds to help undergraduate and postgraduate students where circumstances indicate a clear need for assistance”. In addition, the university does not have a limit on the amount of applications people can submit, and so as a whole, the university gives out more financial support in smaller amounts when compared to other universities who often restrict students to a single application per term.
“We encourage any students who are experiencing financial difficulties to contact our student support services, where advisers are on hand to provide guidance on the full range of support available to them.”
In addition, a spokeswoman for the Scottish Government stated: “This government is investing a record amount in student support and our action to help students who need additional financial assistance the most has resulted in thousands more qualifying for a bursary or increased bursary funding”.
She also noted that, “Furthermore, our commitment to free tuition means that, unlike elsewhere in the UK, Scottish students studying in Scotland do not incur additional debt of up to £27,000 and average student loan debt here is the lowest in these islands”.
“We are giving active consideration to what more we can do, in light of the recommendations of the independent review of student support to fundamentally change the way students are supported financially.”