Ahead of the closing date for responses to the Scottish Government’s Green Paper on 25 February, Universities Scotland submits its summary response to the Green Paper and urges politicians not to rule out options for a Scottish solution until they have had a chance to consider the figures produced by the Green Paper’s technical group.
This response does not pre-empt or duplicate the process that Universities Scotland is involved in with the Scottish Government as part of the expert technical group. Universities Scotland remains fully committed to this process to robustly determine what the scale of the funding gap might be relative to England and to attach figures to the range of Scottish solutions posed by the Green Paper. The outcomes of this work are due to be reported to all stakeholders at an HE Summit on 1 March. Universities Scotland’s consultation response does not make any speculation on the size of the funding gap relative to England nor attach figures to the solutions proposed. However, as a major stakeholder in this process, it is entirely necessary that Universities Scotland makes a submission to the consultation.
The Director of Universities Scotland, Alastair Sim said:
“The one year ‘deal’ to maintain student numbers despite funding cuts is not something universities can do for more than a year and we find it hard to see how public funding alone will be enough to maintain places at university as well as the sector’s quality and international competitiveness. We are against upfront fees in Scotland but believe that constraints on public funding mean that a modest level of deferred graduate contribution is likely to be necessary.”