NUS Scotland have hit out at the Scottish Government’s recent announcement that they will make no fundamental changes to the current system that will have students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland paying up to £36,000 for a four year degree.
In addition, it was announced that there will be no safeguards put in place to help RUK students from low-income families come to Scotland to study, meaning that those from a disadvantaged background may be discouraged from attending Scottish universities.
In preparation for the impending viewing of the proposals by the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee, NUS Scotland has asked members of the committee to carefully consider their decision and to bear in mind the exclusivity of Scottish universities that such a move would promote.
The President for NUS Scotland, Robin Parker, also intimated that the decision is unacceptable and not in keeping with the Scottish government’s views on free education.
However, on the Scottish Government has stated that the intention of the move is to “allow Scottish universities the flexibility to compete for RUK domiciled students on an equal footing with universities in other parts of the UK and provides new flexibility to determine how many such students to recruit”.
The Scottish Government are worried that without the fee hikes Scottish Universities will become havens for RUK students who wish to escape the hiked fees that have been implemented south of the border and English univerities will pull ahead of them in funding.
Mr Parker said: “There have been no meaningful changes to these proposals since they were published in June and you must wonder what’s been the point of the consultation process. The average degree cost paid in Scotland by students from the rest of the UK will still be higher than even the maximum allowed in England. This is clearly unfair and simply allows university principals to cash in.”