• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Extra staff for student support

EXTRA staff are to be drafted in to ensure vital support payments reach thousands of Scottish students.

On Wednesday, it emerged that some 6000 students at Scottish universities had yet to receive payments for living expenses such as rent and food, weeks after the start of term.

The Students Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), which distributes the money, defended its role, saying delays only related to late applications for support.

The body has already successfully processed the vast majority of the 150,000 applications it received this year before the June deadline.

However, student leaders called for an inquiry into why it has taken so long to process applications arriving after the deadline.

And the Scottish Government also came under fire for not dealing with the situation quickly enough. Michael Russell, the Education Secretary, said the opening hours of the SAAS helpline would be extended to provide answers for students concerned about the progress of their application. Staff from other teams would work with contact centre staff to boost the helpline, he said.

This follows the commitment that all current outstanding applications will be cleared by next week, with latest figures showing 2292 applications have been dealt with since Tuesday.

Contextual targeting label: 

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.