Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Re: English Student Taking Scottish Government to Court Re Being Charged Fees to go to University in Scotland

No student within the UK should have to pay for the right to go to University. After all when they qualify they should get a higher paid job thus paying more taxes and therefore paying for the education in that way.


Finland offers free education to all foreign students, irrespective of where they come from. If Scotland was recognized as a nation and had control of all of its income, I would be happy to see Scotland being as generous as the Finns. We are still a region of a state called the UK and control less than 20% of Scotland’s. Under the circumstances, the Scottish Government is being generous in providing free education for all students living in Scotland, irrespective of where they come from.

It was Westminster which decided English-based students should pay for their higher education, not Holyrood! Once Westminster had decided to use this model to fund higher education there were Barnett consequentials which meant that Scotland's (and Wales' and Northern Ireland's) education budgets suffered a shortfall. The only options were/are to follow the Westminster model and charge fees for all students, or follow the Westminster model and charge fees for all students whose domicile is under the direct governance of Westminster.

The money has to come from somewhere because it is no longer coming as part of the block grant, so we can only do what Westminster decrees, i.e. charge students who are normally resident in England a fee. Why give them a discount at the Scots expense?

Unless I'm mistaken, some states in the south of Germany (which have fiscal autonomy) charge tuition fees, whereas those in Northern Germany do not. Students who parents live in Southern Germany need to pay fees, even if they go to Universities in the North. Those who parents live in say Berlin do not pay.

Situations akin to Scotland and England exist all over Europe. It's called DEMOCRACY.
This legal 'challenge' is absurd.