Henry McLeish, Scotland's minister for enterprise and lifelong learning, has welcomed the dramatic rise in the number of Scottish higher education applications as stemming from the Scottish Executive's abolition of tuition fees, writes Olga Wojtas.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service last week highlighted a 19 per cent increase in the number of Scottish applicants between December and March.
Mr McLeish said: "Clearly students who may have delayed their application while we examined student finance have now decided to submit it. It seems highly likely that our announcement to abolish tuition fees from this autumn played a significant part in this."
Mr McLeish said he hoped the Scottish Executive's recent decision to pay the final honours year fees for English, Welsh and Northern Irish students would help encourage more of them to consider Scottish institutions.
Nicol Stephen, deputy minister for enterprise and lifelong learning and Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP, said: "The student bursaries and the abolition of tuition fees would not have been delivered without the Liberal Democrats working in the Scottish Executive. It proves that partnership government is working effectively and delivering new opportunities for Scotland."