SNP’s tuition fees policy ‘discriminatory’

19 Feb 2013

Liz Smith MSP

The SNP’s approach to tuition fees discriminates against students across the rest of the UK, and threatens the admissions policy of universities across Scotland, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

Speaking in a tuition fees debate in the Scottish Parliament today, education spokeswoman Liz Smith reaffirmed the position that contributions from graduates would help provide universities with the funds they need for the future.

She added that the Scottish Government’s stance is hypocritical, stating it believes in free education for all, while happily taking fees from students in the rest of the UK and outwith the EU.

Scottish Conservative education spokeswoman Liz Smith MSP said:

“We made our commitment to a graduate contribution in the autumn of 2010 and, two-and-a-half years on, we remain more convinced than ever that this is the right way forward.

“If Scotland’s universities are to maintain their competitive advantage at the same time as improving academic standards and widen access, they will require additional levels of income.

“The SNP’s mantra that university entrance will be on the ability to learn and not on the ability to pay is fine – but only if you are a domiciled bactrim Scot or an EU student.

“It certainly has more than a hollow ring to it if you are a student living in the rest of the UK, or an international student for whom there are increasing signs that Scottish universities wish to take more fees.”


Below is the text of Liz Smith’s motion:
As an amendment to motion S4M-05652 in the name of Michael Russell (Tuition Fees) leave out from “access” to end and insert “the current Scottish Government policy on tuition fees is discriminatory and threatens to undermine the admissions policies of Scotland’s universities and further believes that, instead, a modest contribution by graduates toward the cost of higher education should be introduced in Scotland to provide the additional flow of income that is consistent with the future ability of Scotland’s universities to maintain and enhance their academic excellence and international standing and the need for a level playing field for all students in order to provide significant additional funds for bursary support for those from less well-off backgrounds.”