In the news

July 2, 1999

Andrew Cubie, nominated this week as chair of the independent committee of inquiry on student finance in Scotland, says he has two main contributions to make.

First, is his independence; he claims to have no political affiliations or connections.Second, is his intense interest in education.

He is chair of governors of George Watson's College, an Edinburgh independent school, serves on the ministerial action group on students in Scottish schools and is deputy chair of Napier University Court.

"Education in Scotland is something most people involved in professional life or business take an interest in," he says. "My belief is that at a time when the future lies in skills, education is particularly important."

Born in Yorkshire 52 years ago, he was educated at Dollar Academy, an independent boarding school in central Scotland, and Edinburgh University, where he read law.

Two of his three children are at university: a daughter at Aberdeen University and a son about to start an MA at Cambridge.

Described as "a very well-connected and influential figure" who "speaks a lot of common sense", he is a senior partner in the solicitors firm Fyfe Ireland WS.

He was chairman of CBI Scotland in 1995-96 when it was hesitating over devolution. In November 1996 he said the CBI found "no demonstrable advantage in the establishment of a Scottish Parliament and, indeed, saw attendant risks".

But he has since served on the consultative steering group on the Scottish Parliament and the McIntosh committee on the Scottish Parliament and local government.

He is a member of the Nolan committee panel for Scottish Office appointments and the Prince of Wales's office has asked him to form part of a "think tank" keeping the Prince informed about Scottish affairs. His main hobby, sailing, complements his chairmanship of the Scottish life boat service

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