Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has welcomed the Scottish Government's announcement of extra financial help for students facing financial hardship over the summer months.

The Scottish Government has brought forward early access to £11.4 million of discretionary funds - which will be administered by colleges and universities - to support higher education students.

Students are, due to UK government rules, unable to claim Universal Credit or other benefits.

Scottish students studying in Europe as part of EU Portability or historically arranged schemes will also be able to access a £100,000 emergency fund administered by the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS).

Commenting, Alasdair Allan MSP said:

“Many students in the Western Isles will have expected to find paid work over the summer, often in our hospitality or tourism sectors, to cover their rent or save for the following term. Through no fault of their own, they are now unable to do so.

"This Scottish Government support will be welcome news for those students who rely on part-time jobs after coming home over the summer months, and who could find it difficult to cover their living costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"No student should face financial hardship as a result of this crisis - and these new measures will support students until the start of the next academic year when bursary, grant and loan payments will begin again."

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