STUDENTS graduating from university in Scotland take on an average of three times less student debt than their counterparts in England.

The figures published by the Student Loans Company (SLC) reveal that graduates in Scotland on average leave university with £13,890 of debt from loans. Students in Wales have an average debt of £24,960 and students who were studying at English universities have to pay off an average of £40,280 in student loan debt.

These numbers were calculated by the SLC by the value of debt students have when they enter the minimum income threshold for when they must start making repayments.

Due to the lower amount of debt accrued by Scottish students, on average they pay back £660 a year, compared with their English counterparts who have to pay an average of £970 each year.

The Scottish Government provides free tuition fees for all Scottish students, whereas fees have risen in England and Wales.

Commenting, SNP MSP Clare Adamson, inset, said: “It is vital that Scotland’s young people have the best start in life and that goes from birth all the way to the end of their education.

“Students should not leave university with a mountain of debt before they have even started work, hampering them when they want to do things like pay rent, get a mortgage or save money.

“That is why the SNP Government has continued to provide free tuition fees to Scottish students to not only ensure they can move in to higher education no matter their background, but so they are then not saddled with tens of thousands of pounds of debt to pay off due to sky-high tuition fees as students in England and Wales.

“Tuition fees in England and Wales have been mired in broken promises from the Tories who, instead of keeping fees low, have bumped

them up, making it harder for students from the most deprived backgrounds to progress into higher education.

“The SNP has a trusted record in getting more school pupils into higher education and for that to continue, free tuition fees have to continue.”