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ESRC Working Paper: The Fairest of Them All

I recently completed The Fairest of Them All?, a Working Paper for the Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity at the University of Edinburgh, as part of their ESRC project on higher education, updating my earlier report on student funding.


The report is also available on the CREID website, along with a number of other useful publications covering widening access and cross-border student flows, among other things. These papers have all been produced as part of the Higher Education in Scotland, the Devolution Settlement and the Referendum on Independence project, funded by the ESRC.


In summary, the report finds as before that the Scottish system offers similar levels of overall debt at lower incomes as the other devolved administrations and is only clearly relatively advantageous to those from higher income backgrounds. It notes that Scotland is an unexceptional and sometimes relatively poor performer on spending power for students who live away from home, though comparatively good for those who are able to live with their parents while they study. It includes far more analysis than before of the actual distribution of student loan debt in Scotland and the impact of recent policies on debt distribution, confirming that there has been a general trend in recent years towards increasing debt most for those from the poorest homes. I will be blogging more about all of that.


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