Minister agrees to meet social work students to discuss bursaries

SWU Campaign Fund | Sign the petition - PE1993: Reform the financial support for social work students on work placements

Student social workers in Scotland have been offered a meeting with the Minister for Higher Education as part of their campaign to secure bursaries for students on full-time placements.

The campaign, backed by the Social Workers Union (SWU) and Scottish Association of Social Workers (SASW) saw more than 300 students write to officials and ministers in the Scottish Government.

The students are calling for the Scottish Government to make funding available to provide bursaries to all third and fourth year undergraduate social work students in Scotland as well as reform of post-graduate bursary funding.

After their initial letter was rebuffed by Ministers, the students launched a petition which now has more than 2,000 signatures on the Scottish Parliament’s website. The petition will close for signatures on 3 January 2023.

The students also had the issue raised in Parliament by Conservative MSP Dr Sandesh Gulhane at the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee and have previously had a meeting with Labour MSP Carol Mochan to discuss the issue.

The Scottish Minister for Higher Education, Jamie Hepburn MSP, has now written to students agreeing to meet with them in the new year. The student-led campaign group were appreciative of the Minister’s quick response and a date has been set in mid-January 2023 for them to discuss bursaries for social work students in Scotland.

John McGowan, General Secretary of the Social Workers Union, said:

“Congratulations to the students who have driven this campaign forward, especially David Grimm and Lucy Challoner

“While it is welcome that the Minister has agreed to meet, this is another step on the journey for fair treatment for social work students in Scotland.

“It’s not too late for other people to support the campaign by signing the petition and we will continue to back the students through the SWU Campaign Fund.”

Please support Scottish social work students and sign the petition which will run until 3 January 2023. Anyone in the UK can sign and it: