The Scottish government has announced changes to postgraduate funding that will see an extra 2,300 students become eligible for loan support of up to £3,400 towards the cost of their tuition fees.
Previously only 2,700 students a year had been eligible for funding under the Postgraduate Student Allowances Scheme (PSAS).
The announcement also includes 100 funded FTE places for the Open University to ensure their students are not disadvantaged by the move.
Education Secretary Michael Russell said:
“As part of our work on post 16 education reform we have been looking at ways in which we can simplify and improve student support, including how we fund those studying for postgraduate qualifications.
“We have had a number of very positive discussions around future provision, and are now pleased to say that almost twice as many postgraduate students will be eligible for support from 2012-13.
“This means that many more of the very best students can access an additional stage of academia, based on ability to learn, not ability to pay.
“I am also pleased to announce that for the first time we will provide the Open University and other part-time students with an allocation of places in 2012-13.”
Courses eligible for supported under PSAS are 9-month taught postgraduate diploma courses in vocational subjects or the 9-month taught element of MSc/Masters courses. In 2010-11, the SFC funded around 5,000 such places.