Patrick Harvie (Green)Drew Smith (Lab)Andrew Morrison (Con)Katy Gordon (LDem)
3. What would you propose as a “Scottish Solution” for funding our universities?Should we take similar steps regarding fees as England and Wales? Should weintroduce a graduate tax? How can we ensure that Scotland’s Universities continueto be world class?PH:
Graduates already pay tax. Progressive income tax would mean that the more aperson earns (whether as a result of their education or any other factor) the more they payfor the provision of public services and investment.We remain fully committed to opposing tuition fees, which are turning HE south of theborder into a market commodity, as well as opposing a special graduate tax. Unlike theother parties taking this position however, we are being clear about the need to raisetaxation, as fairly and progressively as possible, to pay for Scotland’s HE institutions.
I personally do not and have never supported tuition fees. The Scottish
Labour Partyhas committed to no fees within the next term of the
Scottish Parliament, I support thisposition. In the future there may be further debate about whether graduates should
make acontribution to the cost of education such as was previously
provide by the GraduateEndowment. My personal preference would remain
for any contribution to be paid forthrough progressive taxation. On a
related issue, I remain concerned about studentsupport and believe that
arguments around fees and contributions should not obscure theneed for
real help for students who do, or are likely to, need it if they are
to have the benefitof getting to, and completing, further or higher
education. For these reasons, ScottishLabour are also committing to reform of college bursaries, a review of how institutions arefunded in the future and further investment in apprenticeships for those who are looking fortraining rather than further or higher education.
We are the only mainstream political party telling it like it is at this election. There isno such thing as a free lunch, and all we are expecting is if you are eating at the top tableas a graduate with a salary approximately twice the national minimum wage, that you paya contribution towards your education. I, in line with the majority (63%) of the Scottishpopulation, support this proposal. Not only will it mean we can retain funding for our world-class universities, and the number of placements in those universities, but it will also meanwe can put an extra £55million into bursary support for undergraduates from poorerbackgrounds.
We are determined to support our universities. We will propose reforms to ScottishHigher Education by making the Scottish degree a more flexible spine and make it easierto move between college and university (allowing many degrees to become three yearcourses). We are proud to have abolished Labour’s tuition fees in Scotland and we areresolute in keeping education free, with no tuition fees and no graduate contribution.