Greens attack lack of clarity on higher education

For immediate release 16 December 2010

Green MSP Robin Harper today attacked the Scottish Government for its failure to re-assure students and parents over the future of Higher Education funding in Scotland. Education Secretary Michael Russell said he would be "guided" by the Scottish Parliament’s rejection of tuition fees, but failed to explain exactly how cuts of over £200m to the education budget would be made or why, if he rejects students paying fees, there is a need to consult on graduate contributions from students.

Robin Harper MSP said:

"This SNP Government has missed an opportunity to reassure students and parents that the education system in Scotland is safe in their hands, and that must be a genuine cause for concern, especially given the significant cuts they plan to impose on education. The SNP would not be in this mess if they hadn't simply decided to hand on the London cuts.

"Worryingly, they are looking at what they call 'some form' of graduate contribution, a move that sounds very much like a graduate tax. Let us be clear: a graduate tax is no more acceptable than the UK policy of tuition fees, and we will not stand by if they plan to make students pay in this way. Graduates already pay a fair contribution towards education and other public services, and it's called income tax."