SCOTTISH students have saved £1 billion under the SNP government while students south of the border have footed a bill of £14 billion, according to Scottish Parliament research.
Research from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Spice), commissioned by the SNP, found that since fees rose to £9,000 three years ago they have cost students in the rest of the UK £14 billion.
The research also found that Scottish students studying at Scottish universities saved £1 billion over the same number of years.
Since the introduction of tuition fees south of the border in 1998, they have risen by as much as 800%.
The SNP in government say it is committed to keeping higher education fee-free for young people.
SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell, convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Education Committee, said: “Westminster’s tuition fee burden has cost students south of the border a staggering £14 billion in the last three years alone - and the costs are only likely to rise.
“In complete contrast, Scottish students have saved £1 billion as a result of fee-free access to our world leading higher education system.
“It was a Labour government at Westminster that opened the floodgates on fees in 1998. Since then fees have rocketed by up to 800%. We must never let that happen in Scotland.
“Our higher education system is world class - ranked first in the Times Higher Education world rankings when measured by GDP and second by population. This is an astonishing achievement and shows we are punching well above our weight.
“Access to education should be based on the ability to learn - not the ability to pay. The SNP is absolutely committed to this. As tuition fees spiral out of control in the rest of the UK, we have been able to use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to protect free university tuition - opening the doors of opportunity to young people across Scotland.”