USSA reaction to Ministerial Statement
Following announcements from the Scottish Government, the University of Strathclyde Student’s Association (USSA) is strongly against the proposal to charge students from the rest of the UK (RUK) up to £9,000.
We recognise the immense pressure the Scottish Government is under when making decisions which affect Scotland’s higher education system particularly after the major changes to the fees system in England. However, it is clear that the proposals announced go far beyond what would be necessary to protect both Scottish students and Scottish institutions and we are deeply disappointed that in respect of RUK students the Scottish Government is seeking to adopt so many of the damaging aspects of the UK Government fees regime they have so frequently and vehemently opposed.
USSA will aim to oppose the increase in fees, and to oppose the market for RUK fees in Scotland. The ultimate aim will be to prevent the huge damage to widening access these changes could cause for RUK students. Our members voted to oppose tuition fees and therefore we strongly resist any changes which could see fees for RUK students more than quadruple, with the cost of a degree potentially even higher in Scotland than the most expensive at a public institution in England.
The potential to charge EU students an “administration fee,” is unlikely as a result of EU law. However, if this becomes possible, USSA would be firmly against a “back-door” fee and would be highly concerned with the impact this would have on inward student mobility from the EU, particularly as Scotland has one of the lowest student mobility rates in Europe.
Aside from the fees announcement, USSA welcomes the renewed commitment to improving student support for students in higher education as well as the legislative measures to widening access in higher education institutions. As Scotland has the worst record in the UK for access work, USSA will be following this closely throughout the year.
USSA also welcomes the Government’s plans for the review of university and college governance where our particular focus will lie on accountability of decision makers and transparency of processes.
We encourage the University to involve USSA in all discussions relating to the above matters.
President USSA 11/12