In support of part-time and flexible learning
options, the Scottish Minister of Lifelong Learning, Nicol Stephan, has raised the threshold for part-time student support
from £13,000 to £15,367, enabling more lower-income citizens
to participate in higher education. The part-time loan
was originally established in 2000-2001 as a first initiative to tackle higher education access for this student population.
The loan itself differs from full-time student loans in that it covers course related costs such as books and travel as opposed to living costs and fees. It is assumed that part-time students are generally working to support themselves and thus can contribute adequate funding to living and fee expenses. With a flat rate of £500 pounds, the part-time loan is ultimately based on an income assessment
and caps at £13,000 pounds with some allowance for dependants. This new legislation is part of a wider review of part-time study
in Scotland, due to produce recommendations in late 2007.