Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has welcomed a report confirming graduate debt levels in Scotland are the lowest in the UK.
The report, by The 2012 UK Graduate Careers Survey, cited one of the reasons for this finding was the fact that Scottish and non-Scottish domiciled undergraduates in Scotland do not pay tuition fees.
It also said that the gap would widen as Scottish and UK Governments pursue different paths with students in England to be inflicted with back-door tuition fees of up to £9000 and the SNP Government to work towards a minimum income guarantee – a move strongly supported by the NUS – of £7000 in Scotland.
With Labour’s leader in Scotland Johann Lamont appearing to abandon her party’s commitment to free education – despite an image of her appearing beside an article decrying tuition fees on Labour’s website – the SNP are the only major Party in Scotland who can ensure that access to education remains based on ability to learn, and not ability to pay.
“Education should be based on the ability to learn – not on the ability to pay – and the policies being pursued elsewhere in the UK will be a disaster in the long run.
“The SNP are the only party never to have voted for tuition fees, and as Alex Salmond has said, the rocks will melt with the sun before we do so.
“There is still more to do – and I am pleased that the SNP Government is taking forward proposals for a minimum income guarantee for students of £7000, to support them through their studies.
“We can only do this because decisions taken about Higher Education are made in Scotland by our Scottish Parliament.
“If we had full decision-making powers we would be able to do more for all members of our society, especially those vulnerable people who are going to be disadvantaged by Westminster’s Welfare Reform.
“Thankfully, people in Scotland will have the opportunity to take control by voting ‘Yes’ in Scotland’s Referendum on Independence in 2014.”
1. Student debt levels lowest in Scotland
2. The Labour pledge Johann Lamont was elected upon can be read here:
A screen grab is attached.
3. Reports of Johann Lamont’s comments can be found here:
4. The European Students Union surveyed the views of students on the impact of the global financial crisis on investment in higher education institutions as part of their Bologna with Student Eyes 2012 publication. The map shows Scotland is one of only three countries where students believe more investment has been made. It is available from: