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University funding debate must move on from punishing students

28 October 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU said the university funding debate in Scotland had to move on from the tired arguments south of the border about how to squeeze money out of students and look at proper fair and progressive ideas.

The union was responding to a report from Universities Scotland which calls for an increase in student debt and a series of proposals the union described as 'unworkable'. The union added that if changes to higher education funding in Scotland were to have any legitimacy they needed to involve all the key players.

The Scottish political parties, reflecting public opinion, have rejected fees in Scotland. However, fees are back on the table at a Universities Scotland conference today that will have no input from staff.

UCU Scottish official, Mary Senior, said: 'It is naive and incorrect to suggest that only the student benefits from a degree. Universities Scotland needs to recognise that and consider progressive funding approaches, rather than simply seeking ways to squeeze more money out of students and their families.

'The debate about how we best fund our universities is an important one and, if changes to the current system are to have any legitimacy, then all the key players must be involved.'