MUSSELBURGH'S MSP welcomed the extra financial help for students facing hardship over the summer.

Colin Beattie, who also represents Midlothian North, said the Scottish Government had brought forward early access to £11.4 million of discretionary funds which will be administered by colleges and universities to support those in higher education.

He said that students were unable to claim Universal Credit or other benefits.

He added that students studying in Europe as part of EU Portability or historically arranged schemes would also be able to access a £100,000 emergency fund administered by the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS).

Mr Beattie said: “Many students in East Lothian will have expected to find paid work over the summer to cover their rent or save for the following term but are now, through no fault of their own, unable to do so.

“This Scottish Government support will be welcome news for those students who rely on part-time jobs over the summer months, who could find it difficult to cover their living costs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“No student should face financial hardship as a result of this crisis and these new measures will support students until the start of the next academic year when bursary, grant and loan payments will begin again.”