Cubie lists options to widen Scottish debate on fees

October 15, 1999

The Cubie inquiry into Scottish student finance is setting out the options that emerged from its gruelling round of public inquiries.

Written and oral evidence from contributors will form the basis of a paper expected by the end of this month. But it may also include broad costings, enabling people to see the financial implications of particular suggestions.

Cubie representatives are also shortly expected to meet Sir George Quigley, who is investigating the impact of fourth-year Scottish tuition fees. His inquiry is on hold pending joint talks.

Sir George revealed that his inquiry might have reported by Christmas had Cubie not been set up. He will now report by April.

Sir George is looking at whether English, Welsh and Northern Irish students should pay fees for their fourth year of a degree when Scots and European Union students are exempt.

There is, however, the possibility that the Scots parliament will abolish fees north of the border in the wake of the Cubie inquiry, which reports in December.

"If the Scottish arrangements were to change, that would have an effect on what we are considering. We need to try to coordinate our work so that we all achieve our objectives at the right time," Sir George said.

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