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Committee (2nd Day) (Continued)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 2nd February 2012.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Tankerness Lord Wallace of Tankerness Lords Spokesperson (Attorney General's Office), Lords Spokesperson (Wales Office), The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Scotland Office) 3:45 pm, 2nd February 2012

The point I was making was that there was clear evidence, which we were looking at in about 2003 or 2004, in an overall review we did of higher education at that time in Scotland, that a differential where Scotland was much cheaper than England, Wales or Northern Ireland would have a considerable impact. I totally subscribe to what noble Lords have said in this debate-that the essence of many of our universities, the advantage of them and the thing that gives richness to student life, is the fact that you are shoulder to shoulder with people from many different backgrounds, nationalities and cultures. I subscribe to that overwhelmingly. But it is naive in the extreme to think that, if university tuition in Scotland was free for students from England, it would not have some quite material effect on the numbers applying.