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Chamber and committees

Motion ref. S6M-03347

NUS Student Survey

Submitted by: Katy Clark, West Scotland, Scottish Labour.
Date lodged: Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Supported by: Pam Duncan-Glancy, Monica Lennon, Paul O'Kane, Alex Rowley, Paul Sweeney, Mercedes Villalba, Martin Whitfield

That the Parliament acknowledges the publication of the NUS Scotland report, Broke: How Scotland is Failing Its Students; notes with concern the report’s findings that 35% of surveyed students have considered dropping out for financial reasons, 64% have experienced mental ill health as a result of financial pressures, 12% have experienced homelessness, and 8% have relied on foodbanks to get by; further notes the report’s finding that 24% of surveyed students spend more than £600 a month on rent, and notes NUS Scotland and Unipol Student Homes’ estimation based on further survey data that student rent has increased at a faster rate in Scotland over the last three years than any other part of the UK; understands that NUS Scotland has made 18 policy recommendations to protect student incomes and promote student welfare; notes the calls on the Scottish Government to develop a student housing strategy, which includes the introduction of rent controls in purpose-built student accommodation and the private rented sector; considers that pressures on student finances have been exacerbated by rising inflation, increasing food and fuel prices and high energy bills; acknowledges NUS Scotland’s view that the Scottish Government should introduce year-round financial support for all students in higher and further education that meets the cost of living, based on grants rather than loans; notes the recommendation from the independent Student Support Review, A New Social Contract for Students: Fairness Parity and Clarity, published in Autumn 2017, to the Advanced Learning and Science Directorate, that students in both further and higher education must be entitled to support based on the Scottish Government’s Living Wage; believes that the Scottish Government should liaise with academic institutions, trade unions in the sector, the Student Awards Agency for Scotland and NUS Scotland with a view to addressing financial issues affecting students, and calls on the Scottish Government to urgently come forward with a student support package that meets the recommendations of the Student Support Review in full.