28 June 2021

Care-Experienced Bursary data 2018-19

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has published new information about the take up of the Care-Experienced Bursary in the 2018-19 academic year, the first year that this data has been available.

The Care-Experienced Bursary, introduced by the Scottish Government in 2017 for HE and both FE and HE from 2018, is a non-income assessed, non-repayable grant of £8,100 per year for eligible care experienced students who are resident in Scotland and in full time Further Education (FE) or Higher Education (HE) at college or university. Care experienced students may be eligible to receive the Bursary depending on when they were in care and the circumstances surrounding their care.

The information includes details about how many students applied for and received the bursary, what subjects were studied and how many students were able to progress with their studies.

In 2017-18, care experienced students studying full time at FE level had a successful course completion rate of 51%, but in 2018-19, the completion rate increased to 57.3%. The rate of care experienced students withdrawing from FE early is lower for eligible Bursary recipients (4.1%) than all care experienced students (8.2%).

For care experienced students studying in Higher Education, the retention of Scottish domiciled care experienced undergraduate students between their first and second year of university in 2018-19 was 90.9%. This rate of retention has increased from 85.6% in 2017-18 and is now higher than their non-care experienced peers, who have a 90.4% retention rate.

However, the data also shows that many care experienced students across FE and HE who receive the Bursary do not self-disclose their care experienced status at their place of study as the Bursary is paid directly to the student by Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). As a result, some care experienced students may not be getting other support available from their college or university.