The Scottish Government’s spending review has been praised by the higher education sector, after committing to protect the Education Maintenance Allowance and a £7,000 minimum income provision for the poorest students.
The review also confirmed that tuition fees would not be introduced for Scottish students.
Robin Parker, president of NUS Scotland, said that the proposals are "a major step in right direction towards making access to education in Scotland fairer."
A commitment to increase funding to narrow the gap with English universities and keep Scottish universities' international reputation high has also been proposed. Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea, vice-convener of Universities Scotland and principal of the University of Edinburgh said: "This settlement marks a serious commitment to Scotland's universities and gives the sector renewed confidence about our ability to compete with the best."
He added: "The protection of our international standing is vital if we are to continue to deliver for Scotland and continue to lever-in well over £1 billion every year to the Scottish economy from UK and international sources."
But the review also contains proposals to cut funding for Scotland’s colleges, which Mr Parker critised, saying: “Colleges serve some of the most deprived communities in Scotland offering an educational lifeline and local access to education to some of the most excluded in our society.
“They must make sure that no matter what, the number of places at college is at least protected and that quality is maintained.”