SNP goes to war on Scottish anomaly

September 11, 1998

The Scottish National Party has pledged to fight for the removal of tuition fees under a Scottish parliament.

Its document, Towards the Scottish Parliament: Policy Intentions for the 99 Elections, which paves the way for the party's manifesto, attacks the "Scottish anomaly" of students from elsewhere in the United Kingdom having to pay tuition fees for the fourth year of a Scottish degree.

It says it is committed to abolishing tuition fees in an independent Scotland, and will work to achieve this as quickly as possible "within the financial constraints of the Scottish parliament".

It also says it will take steps to protect the four-year honours degree.

"In particular, we will end the discrimination against students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland studying in Scotland and, if necessary, an SNP government will commit resources to pay the fourth-year tuition fees of these students."

An SNP government would ensure that further education was no longer treated as higher education's poor relation, it says. It warns that the transfer of further education colleges from local authority control could weaken links between colleges and the community, but it supports the impending creation of a Scottish further education funding council as a link between the sector and the parliament.

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