Students are set to hold a rally outside the Scottish Parliament protesting over what they describe as “short-sighted” education cuts.

Members of the National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland will gather outside Holyrood to call on the Scottish Government to halt proposed cuts to funding for higher and further education in the upcoming budget.

The body believes the proposed cuts of more than £100 million pose a “significant threat” not only to students and staff, but the overall wellbeing of Scotland’s education system as well.

Members have said their intention is to send a “clear and resounding message” to ministers that they must start valuing students and staff and invest in the future instead of imposing cuts.

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NUS Scotland president Ellie Gomersall said: “We’re rallying outside parliament today to make it clear to the Scottish Government that these cuts cannot go ahead.

“They like to talk the talk about tackling poverty and inequality in Scotland but they’re not walking the walk.

“We know that a well-funded education system is absolutely essential to creating a more equal society but they have been underfunding colleges and universities for a decade and are now planning short-sighted cuts of over £100 million.

“They need to urgently heed the call coming from students and staff today and stop the cuts.”

The rally is being held at Holyrood at 1pm.

Speakers will include STUC deputy secretary general Linda Somerville, Scottish Labour shadow cabinet secretary for education and skills Pam Duncan-Glancy and Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesperson for education Willie Rennie.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “It is right that we are taking strong action to support students through the cost of living crisis with an enhanced student support offering which ensures people receive the support they need to attend university.

“Along with our firm commitment to free tuition, this is ensuring access to university in Scotland remains based on the ability to learn and not the ability to pay.

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“That is why we are seeing a record number of Scottish students being accepted to our universities, a record numbers of full-time first degree entrants coming from our most deprived communities and why Scotland has the lowest student debt levels in the UK, almost three times lower than in England.

“New measures announced this week will provide support for students over the Summer months, following the recent £2,400 increase to the annual support package which sees the main undergraduate funding package rise up to £11,400.”