Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5d6d958fb5-lm9t2 Total loading time: 0.323 Render date: 2022-11-28T10:07:33.775Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

3 - Student Funding in the UK: Post-Devolution Scotland in a UK Context

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2016

Lucy Hunter Blackburn
Affiliation:
Freelance writer and researcher specialising in student funding within the UK
Get access

Summary

INTRODUCTION

This chapter examines the common claim that the development of a more socially just approach to student funding is a distinctive achievement of devolution in Scotland. It compares how the funding for students in full-time undergraduate higher education has developed in Scotland and the other devolved administrations since 1999 and what now distinguishes the arrangements for such students in Scotland from those in other parts of the UK. It shows that when systems are compared in terms of their distributional effects between students within each jurisdiction, it is the Scottish system alone which demonstrates a clearly regressive pattern, calling into question widely held beliefs about which students have benefited most from Scottish policy-making in this area since 1999.

THE CLAIM MADE FOR SCOTLAND

In August 2014 Michael Russell, then Cabinet Secretary for Education, said, ‘Scotland is the only country in the UK to ensure young people, our workforce of the future, can go to university based on ability, not the ability to pay’ (Russell, 2014). Over recent years, this has become the central claim distinguishing the Scottish approach to student support from that elsewhere in the UK. It draws on a belief often found in wider Scottish debate that Scotland is more egalitarian in its approach to higher education than England, in particular. Thus one commentator, a newspaper columnist who is a high-profile supporter of free tuition and a former Rector of Edinburgh University, stated that there is:

a feeling among MSPs that Scottish university principals are out of sympathy with the educational traditions of Scotland, summed up by the phrase the ‘democratic intellect’ … The choice is between an essentially privatised system of higher education, which is the English model, and the Scottish tradition of open access. (MacWhirter, 2011)

Behind such statements there lies a strong implication that the model of student funding adopted in Scotland is more socially just than those now found elsewhere in the UK.

FREE TUITION: A SCOTTISH TRADITION?

The assertion that university tuition fees are inherently at odds with a specifically Scottish tradition has been a prominent feature of political debate over nearly two decades, with fee charging presented as alien to the history of the Scottish education system, including, importantly, its higher education system.

Type
Chapter
Information
Higher Education in Scotland and the UK
Diverging or Converging Systems?
, pp. 33 - 55
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2015

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×