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Lecturers welcome Government commitment to four-year degree

30 September 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU has welcomed the government's commitment to the Scottish four-year honours degree in a Holyrood debate on higher education. The debate was called by the Conservative Party with a motion that said there was a consensus for the introduction of a graduate contribution.

However, none of the other parties supported the Tories' motion and UCU also rejects the idea that any such consensus exists. During the Scottish Parliament debate Michael Russell MSP Cabinet Secretary for Education stated that the four year honours degree is the cornerstone of the Scottish system and is the norm across Europe.

UCU believes that ministers need to look at creating a truly radical student funding system, not one that merely aims to squeeze more money out of students. The union believes that business should pay its fair share for the plentiful supply of graduates it receives every year.

President of UCU Scotland, Dr Lesley McIntosh, said: 'The four-year honours degree gives a breadth and depth of knowledge and offers much greater flexibility than the narrow three-year degree. We need to find a unique Scottish solution to fund our world-leading and innovative higher education system. Simply going again for the soft target of our graduates is not the answer.

'We must look seriously at the idea of taxing big business for the substantial benefits it gains from a plentiful supply of graduates and using that money to increase funding for student support and universities. The debate has to move away from how to squeeze more money out of students and their families.'