A SCOTTISH student body is calling for students to be given half-price bus and train fares in an effort to mitigate the effects of the cost-of-living crisis.

The National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland, the body representing around 500,000 students across Scotland, launched the campaign.

Named #FightingForStudents, it will call not only for transport cost reductions but also for an increase in bursaries and for rent controls.

It comes after the Scottish Government recently introduced the Young Person’s Free Bus Travel Scheme which allows those under the age of 22 to travel for free.

However, more Scottish college and university students are aged over 21 than under, meaning most are unable to make use of the scheme.

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NUS Scotland claims that a 50% discount on bus and train travel would close an “unfair loophole that is currently disadvantaging a significant proportion of Scotland’s student population”.

NUS Scotland’s Broke survey of 3500 students, published in early 2022, found 60% of students worry about their finances frequently or all of the time, 35% had considered dropping out because of money worries, and 12% had been homeless at some point since the start of their studies.

NUS Scotland President Ellie Gomersall said: “Our new campaign is calling for fixes that will prevent students from dropping out of their studies or falling into poverty.

“One of those fixes is to provide all students in Scotland – regardless of age – a 50% discount on bus and train travel. Existing policies are well-intentioned and welcome, but create gaping loopholes.

“By urgently closing this unfair loophole, we can ensure that at the very least, students do not need to make a choice between attending classes or putting food on the table.”