University Tuition Fees

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 22nd March 2011.

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Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

There is no silver bullet to the question of how we place funding for universities in Scotland on a long-term sustainable basis. What is clear, though, is that if the Government is re-elected there will be no return to tuition fees, either up front or back door.

The joint work that we have undertaken with Universities Scotland has given us a clear estimate of any funding gap and allowed us to explore a number of funding streams, including up to £62 million from students from the rest of the United Kingdom and an estimated £22 million from students from the rest of the European Union. That is before we factor in any other sources, such as philanthropic giving, increased commercial activity or efficiency savings that the universities themselves have agreed are deliverable.

The First Minister has made a clear and unequivocal commitment that any funding gap will be closed. We will ensure that our spending plans are balanced to deliver on that commitment.