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English University Places (Scots Applicants)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd November 2011.

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Photo of Richard Lyle Richard Lyle Scottish National Party

16. To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the reduction in the number of Scots applying for university places in England. (S4O-00323)

Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

It is very important that that question is asked and answered accurately. Questions on that have been asked in the chamber in the past week, including a question from the leader of the Opposition that suggested that something was going on.

It is far too early to draw any conclusions from the figures that were released by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service on 24 October about the reduction in the number of Scots applying for university places in England. That release is the first in a series and covers only some courses and institutions. It is reasonable to assume that any reduction, if there is one, will be linked to the significant increase in tuition fees in universities south of the border from 2012-13. We must be very careful with UCAS statistics at all stages of the year, because they are never complete until the end of the application process.

Photo of Claire Baker Claire Baker Labour

Now that the Office for Fair Access is entering into discussions with some English universities, when will the Scottish Government publish its response to the consultation on rest of UK fees?

Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

It will be published within the next few days.