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Concern over SNP power grab from universities and colleges

28 Nov 2012

Liz Smith MSP

A bill published today will erode the choice of universities and colleges on who to admit to their courses.

The Scottish Government announced the Post-16 Education (Scotland) Bill, claiming it would improve the chances of youngsters across Scotland.

However, the Scottish Conservatives have warned the move will only hand more power to the government, a policy which has failed in other countries.

Scottish Conservative education spokeswoman Liz Smith MSP said:

“This bill will diminish the autonomy of our colleges and universities and replace it with greater powers for the Scottish Government.

“While there is a strong case to reform some aspects of the FE and HE sectors, the key drivers for this reform should be the institutions themselves, many of which have made significant progress in recent years responding to the changing needs of the their students and staff and to the economic and social needs of Scotland.

“We know that there is very strong resistance within our tertiary institutions towards more legislation and any moves to increase the Scottish Government’s power over governance and senior appointments.

“If you look around the world, the countries which succeed most when it comes to tertiary education are those where there is less not more control from the government.

“The Scottish Government is therefore treading a dangerous path.”