Scotland not rich, English are told

January 23, 2003

England's jealousy of Scotland's funding for higher education is justified - but not that much, according to the findings of an independent survey.

Scotland is generally perceived to have 10 per cent more cash for teaching than south of the border, although this figure is sometimes inflated to 30 per cent depending on the level of envy.

Universities Scotland has revealed the findings of an independent consultation that indicate that, like for like, Scotland gets 4 per cent more.

This calculation involves giving Scotland and England equal subject weighting since, for example, Scotland has a higher proportion of students in medicine, one of the most expensive subjects. It also takes account of the larger proportion of ring-fenced teaching funds in England, and the Scottish system of "fees-only" students, whereby institutions get a student fee only and no main teaching grant for students who are eligible for funding but whose numbers exceed funded places in a subject.

A spokesperson for Universities Scotland said: "It has been assumed that Scotland is in a much better situation (financially).

"This research shows that any differences in funding are marginal. It is just as important to address the funding shortfall in Scotland."

A spokesperson for the Scottish Executive said: "It is difficult to compare the levels of funding in Scotland and England as the systems and remits of the funding councils are very different."

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