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UCU Scotland slams call for university fees

10 September 2009

UCU Scotland slams calls for the reintroduction of fees in Scotland and questions the legitimacy and wisdom of Lord Sutherland.

Lord Sutherland called for the reintroduction of fees and a bursary system similar to the one in England, despite the fact that evidence has shown that the complicated system south of the border is not working. Tuition fees were abolished in Scotland in 2000 and the Scottish government has distanced itself from the former head of Edinburgh University's comments.

UCU Scotland spokesperson, Tony Axon, said. 'Lord Sutherland is out of touch with the consensus in Scotland, which is in opposition to fees. No political party or any current head of a university is calling for such fees.

'His attempt to legitimise the reintroduction of fees by calling for increased bursaries for students from poorer backgrounds reveals that he has clearly not properly investigated the failing system south of the border. We find Lord Sutherland's apparent conversion to helping widen access to university a little surprising as under his stewardship access was the last priority at Edinburgh University, where the majority of UK students were from private schools.

'Although the Scottish government has distanced itself from Lord Sutherland's comments it is to blame for re-opening the tuition fees debate by failing to adequately fund universities in the last spending review. It should stop the debate immediately by increasing the proportion of funding spent on universities.'

Last updated: 11 December 2015