Fears are growing for the welfare of Scotland's students during the Covid pandemic after a high-level government taskforce was told that as many as 14 per cent are turning to foodbanks.

The warning from NUS comes amid growing concern over levels of poverty among those enrolled at higher and further education institutions.

A survey published earlier this year by the union found that three in five respondents said coronavirus was having some degree of impact upon their income.

READ MORE: Scotland's universities facing £132m in losses

Around one in four said their hours had been reduced, and around one in 10 had lost their job.

NUS' comments during a recent meeting of the Further Education/Higher Education Student Hardship Task Force were echoed by Colleges Scotland, which highlighted worries over fuel and food poverty.

Education Secretary John Swinney previously announced the creation of a £20 million fund aimed at providing hardship support for students.

A portion of this is being extended to EU and international students.

Student leaders have called for more to be done.

The Herald: Scotland's university and college campuses have been hit hard by Covid.Scotland's university and college campuses have been hit hard by Covid.

Matt Crilly, NUS Scotland President, said: "Our most recent survey results show just how widespread financial issues are amongst the student body.

"Students continue to pay rent for accommodation they can't use, while 14% are relying on foodbanks and increased debt just to make ends meet."

READ MORE: Scottish universities hit by 40 per cent slump in EU applicants

He added: “Improvements to cost-of-living support introduced by the Scottish Government are welcome, however they do not go far enough and need to be built on – no student should be left unable to afford their next meal.

“As we head into another semester and summer of uncertainty we must ensure no student is left to struggle financially or academically.”