The negative picture of Scottish higher education painted in the feature “Can Scotland carry on with its free-tuition policy?” (15 December) is simply unrecognisable. Free tuition has been a resounding success here, keeping education as a public good, not a commodity.
People from underprivileged backgrounds, young and old, are welcomed with open arms. They flood in from state schools and further education colleges. They choose subjects and careers that interest them, not what might offer the safest route out of the nightmare of lifelong debt. Class and ethnic barriers are transcended in an atmosphere of toleration, cooperation and informed enquiry.
I see this daily in the classroom.
But Andrea Nolan, the principal of Edinburgh Napier University, is correct that the policy hangs on a costly political choice. I know that I am not alone in hoping that the Scottish government will continue to support this great Scottish and democratic tradition.
Professor of information policy
Edinburgh Napier University
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