College-backed ‘Budget for Bursaries’ wins accolade

The winners at the Scottish Charity Awards with Student Association Vice President Anna Gillanders (second from left) and Student Officer Kieran Pirie (far right)
The winners at the Scottish Charity Awards with Student Association Vice President Anna Gillanders (second from left) and Student Officer Kieran Pirie (far right)

Budget for Bursaries, the NUS Scotland campaign that reversed a £1.7m funding cut to college bursaries in the Scottish Budget and turned it into an extra £15m for Scotland’s further education students, was awarded Campaign of the Year at the 2011 Scottish Charity Awards.

Banff and Buchan College was one of the driving College’s of the NUS campaign which involved 32,000 emails from college students contacting their MSPs to contest cuts to bursaries.

It succeeded in reversing a proposed £1.7m real terms cut and securing an additional £15m in bursary funding and £8m worth of additional college places.

NUS Scotland and its members were amongst five award-winners at the Scottish Charity Awards, run by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO). The Awards are now in their fifth year, and celebrate the unsung heroes across Scotland’s 45,000 voluntary organisations.

Awards were given in five categories at a glittering ceremony in Edinburgh’s prestigious Mansfield Traquair Centre.

Up for grabs were Charity of the Year, Community Action, Partnership Award, Campaign of the Year and Charity Champion.

Banff and Buchan College Student Engagement Officer Susan Gall said “This award is testament to the dedication and hard work of students of Banff and Buchan College Students’ Association and indeed of students across the College sector as a whole. It is an honour to work with young people who care not only about their own future but of the future of those who will want to access education in the future under what will inevitably be difficult times.”

Student Association Vice President Anna Gillanders said “It was an honour to represent the students of Banff and Buchan College at this award ceremony.

“The Budget for Bursaries Campaign was a fantastic opportunity for students to stand together as one voice and fight for the right of all students to attend college based on educational ability and not on the ability to pay.”

Liam Burns, President of NUS Scotland said “In a year that has been dominated by higher education issues, students in further education showed that politicians ignore college students at their peril.

“To win £15m college bursaries, and £8m for college places, was a fantastic result for students across Scotland”