Should Scotland abolish fees?

May 14, 1999

"If fees are abolished in Scotland, it would turn a Scottish anomaly into a British absurdity." Andrew Pakes, president, National Union of Students "The whole reason our committee was appointed was to address a financial crisis in higher education. Part of our solution was fees. Take that away and you bring back the crisis."

Lord Dearing, former chairman of the committee of inquiry into higher education "Please don't rush into party political horse-trading. If the new politics means anything, then the 'horses' need to be consulted."

David Bleiman, assistant general secretary of the Association of University Teachers "If tuition fees were abolished now, the new Scottish administration would face the difficult choice between funding the resultant deficit or I forcing some further education colleges and universities into bankruptcy."Bernard King, principal, University of Abertay, Dundee "There is no doubt that the government could afford to cover the cost of abolishing fees. I think most people would rather it spent its money on helping students than on the next set of cluster bombs."

Phil Willis, Liberal Democrat further and higher education spokesman "Thousands of students across Scotland are deterred from studies because of massive debt."

John Fellows, president, Edinburgh University student union "My greatest concern is that we are heading towards an uneven position on fees across the UK. It is a situation most people might not have thought possible."

Peter Fidler, vice-chancellor, Sunderland University "The only way that the Scottish Parliament can make education in Scotland the envy of the world is to base entry on ability and not ability to pay."

David Walsh, president, Aberdeen University student union "It would be a tragedy if the political games resulted in unequal treatment of students in the UK and less money to encourage the disadvantaged."

Diana Warwick, CVCP chief executive "If fees are dropped in Scotland it would leave a highly inequitable situation which would be very difficult for anyone to defend."

David Dilks, vice-chancellor, Hull University

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