Labour's ghetto

August 14, 1998

Your opinion column (THES, July 31) stated that new Labour's Helen Liddell is "opposing the tide of Scottish Nationalism. In this higher education is likely to prove a useful ally. The universities are wary of being pushed into a Scottish ghetto".

Surely, it is new Labour that is pushing universities into a Scottish ghetto. New Labour has introduced a tuition fees policy that discriminates against students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This policy is discouraging applications from elsewhere in the United Kingdom. The Scottish National Party's policy is to abolish this discrimination against UK students.

New Labour's policy of scrapping maintenance grants undermines Scotland's longer degree courses, thereby pushing Scottish universities into an English ghetto of degrees with a duration that is exceptionally short by European standards.

Peter Thanisch Department of computer science University of Edinburgh

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