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5 January 2018, 07:25
Distance learning postgraduate students in Scotland will be able to apply for loans to cover tuition fees and living costs, the Scottish Government has announced.
The students, currently not eligible for support, will have loans of £5,500 made available for tuition fees from the next academic year.
The change applies to both full-time and part-time distance learners.
Full-time distance learning postgraduate students will also be able to access a £4,500 living cost loan at the same time.
Both loans are only available to students on taught postgraduate diploma and masters courses.
Further and Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said: "Undergraduates in Scotland already have free tuition, saving tens of thousands of pounds over the course of a degree compared to those in the rest of the UK.
"This funding builds on that by expanding help to postgraduates to fund the cost of their fees.
"Expanding access to tuition fee loans and living cost loans could benefit up to 2,500 students across the country and enable more people to consider studying for postgraduate qualifications.
"We want to make further and higher education as accessible as possible and this positive step will help more people overcome the financial barriers to gaining new qualifications."