BURSARIES for poorer students will increase by £125 after a Scottish Government U-turn.

Angela Constance, the Education Secretary, said students with a household income of up to £19,000 would be entitled to increased bursaries of £7,625. The previous cut off point was £17,000.

The move partly reverses cuts made by Michael Russell, the former Education Secretary, as part of wider student support changes which made more loans available.

Ms Constance said: "We are always looking at ways to increase student support wherever possible, so I am very pleased to announce this additional funding which aims to help those from lower-income backgrounds.

"The Scottish Government is committed to creating a fairer, more equal Scotland and as part of that we want every child to have the same chance of going to university, irrespective of their background."

The move was welcomed by Vonnie Sandlan, NUS Scotland president-elect, who said: "This is great news for Scottish students and in no small part due to the campaigning efforts of NUS Scotland and students across Scotland over the last few years.

"Our work to bring student poverty up the political agenda is paying off, delivering real benefits for students, and the Scottish Government is to be congratulated for doing more to tackle student poverty.

Lucy Hunter, an influential blogger and former senior civil servant in the Scottish Government, also welcomed the move, but said it did not completely redress the earlier cut.

She said: "The decision to start restoring the 2013 grant cuts is welcome, in particular the raising of the threshold for maximum support back to £19,000 because students just below that level lost out especially badly from recent reforms.

"However, this is still a relatively small change. The loss in non-repayable cash support to students from low income backgrounds remains substantial with around £35 million cut from grant since 2012. These changes are likely to cost around £7 million, restoring just 20 per cent of that loss."