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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

270,000 Scottish Graduates Since Fees Scrapped


Today marks 10 years since the Graduate Endowment Abolition Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament.

The SNP Government’s scrapping of Labour’s tuition fees has allowed 270,000 Scottish students to graduate free of charge since the policy was introduced a decade ago, figures from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) show.

Students in Scotland do not pay for tuition before, during or after their studies. By stark contrast, the UK Tory Government charges students in England £9,250 a year for attending university. The Welsh Labour Government charges students £9,000 a year in Wales.

Since the fees were scrapped in 2008, Scotland’s universities have gone from strength to strength – climbing up the international league tables, improving access for those from the most deprived communities and seeing more people apply to study.

Commenting, Kenneth Gibson MSP said:

“As we reflect on a decade of free university tuition in Scotland, it is clear this policy has been a resounding success, allowing 270,000 people the opportunity to gain a qualification free of charge.

“Scrapping of Labour’s unfair tuition fees has been transformational for many across Scotland and stands in stark contrast to the Tory approach south of the border or Labour in Wales, where people to pay tens of thousands of pounds to get their degree.

“Just this week, the SNP Government announced yet another significant investment in our universities and colleges, which will benefit from a record £1,800 million in funding for the coming year, thus helping achieve our aim of ensuring students from the 20% most deprived backgrounds represent 20% of university entrants by 2020.

“With more students applying thanks to the SNP Government’s unwavering commitment to free tuition, it’s clear that more and more people will graduate from our world-leading universities in the years to come.”

Scottish First Degree Qualifiers since 2007-08

Year Scottish Graduates

2007-08 22,545

2008-09 22,345

2009-10 22,415

2010-11 23,200

2011-12 24,375

2012-13 25,310

2013-14 26,920

2014-15 26,305

2015-16 26,665

2016-17* 24,453 full figures are not yet available for 2016/17 and 2017/18.

2017-18* 24,453 these numbers average the previous years in the series.

Total: 268,986



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