Fighting fund banner


General Election 2024: Scottish party manifestos

27 June 2024

UCU Scotland's manifesto sets out UCU's demands of the parties in Scotland. Some of the issues are reserved and some devolved and are addressed, depending on the party, either intheir Scottish or UK manifesto, if they have one, or sometimes in both. For simplicity the summary below highlights mentions of higher education in the parties' Scottish manifestos.

SNP icon Scottish National Party

Scottish National Party manifesto

  • Commits to defend free university tuition in Scotland.
  • Calls for Brexit to be reversed and to rejoin the EU allowing re-entry to the Erasmus+ scheme, widening educational opportunities.

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party manifesto

  • Create a Scottish Future Growth Fund to commercialise intellectual Property and help support university spin outs.
  • Support free tuition but also recognise the problems it is creating. Says free tuition needs to be properly funded.
  • Create a universal personal skills fund for every Scottish adult.
  • Says have ended the ability of almost all international students and all care workers to bring dependents.
  • Says will increase all visa fees and remove the student discount to the immigration Health Surcharge
  • Allocated additional funding to support schools and universities to understand, recognise and tackle antisemitism.

Scottish Liberal Democrats Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrats manifesto

  • Introduce a national financial inclusion strategy, including Sharia-compliant student finance.
  • Continue participation in Horizon Europe and join the European Innovation Council.
  • End the scandal of crumbling school, college and university buildings by investing in new buildings and tackling the backlog of repairs.
  • Value public investment and create the conditions for universities to successfully compete for UK-wide research funding.
  • Return to Erasmus Plus as an associated country.
  • Report international student flows separately to estimates of long-term migration.
  • Encourage the Scottish Government to produce a plan to protect universities against global shocks and reliance on internation student fee income.
  • Transfer policy-making over work visas and overseas students out of the Home Office and into other departments.

Scottish Labour Party Scottish Labour Party

Scottish Labour Party manifesto

  • Work with universities to support spinouts
  • Refers to innovation of new health treatments in universities and says will accelerate clinical trials.
  • Committed to free tuition and wants to ensure progress on widening access continues.
  • References Conservative's attacks on universities, BBC and courts and says has undermined soft powers and diminished international influence.

Alba Party Alba

Alba Party manifesto

  • Create a Disability National Support Centre to provide guidance to, amongst others, higher education centres.
  • Open new graduate school of dentistry at UHI, Inverness.
  • Supports free tuition.
  • Calls on the UK government to introduce free tuition in England, leading to Scottish Barnett consequentials.
  • Says more needs to be done on student financial support.
  • Scotland should control immigration policy for international students.
  • Introduce national bursary scheme for working class students.
  • Secure agreement with universities for all Scottish students to get places if meet entry requirements.

Scottish Green Party Scottish Green Party

Scottish Green Party manifesto

  • Introduce a bespoke visa scheme for Palestinian students and academics as part of a wider programme assisting the reconstruction of Gaza's higher education sector.
Last updated: 27 June 2024