Scotland on Sunday readers' letters: Further tests should determine university places

If I were a student seeking to enter university and, while from a middle-class background, personally havingnote-0 negligible income or capital, I would take the Scottish Government to court for excluding me from a note-1course at a Scottish university by allocating a disproportionate number of places to students from a disadvantaged background or foreign students (the latter currently paying very much more to the Scottish Government).

Scottish students should have priority and in the event of competition for places then there should be a further test to determine who should be allocated the places.

The Scottish Government's position is scandalous. The government should not act unilaterally without the opportunity for representation or equal treatment in assessment of who should get places.

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Alasdair HM Adam, Dollar

Scottish students should have priority for places at Scottish universities, says reader

Island idyll

I'm afraid your idyllic verbal picture of the MV Clansman arriving at Castlebay is seven years out of date (Comment, 6 January), because since 2016 the Barra ferry has been the MV Isle of Lewis.Be that as it may, it's not the age of the ferries itself which is the problem. Within the past 10 years, as demand has grown partly due to the introduction of Road Equivalent Tariff, gaps in the timetables have been plugged and two new services have been added.

However in the absence of adding any new major vessels, the upshot is that there is no spare large vessel sitting around ready to be sent to cover a breakdown. The problem has been Transport Scotland increasing CalMac's workload without providing the necessary resources.

Jane Ann Liston, St Andrews

Bad example

In her article about Harry and the monarchy, Dani Garavelli writes that there are more pressing reasons for the abolition of the monarchy: its links to colonialism, the iniquity of inherited power and the cost to the taxpayer. (Real Lives, 15 January). Yet she omits one that many believe to be equally important and, indeed, even more important, than those listed.

Every single member of this widely extended family enjoys killing animals for fun. What makes it worse is that they are in a position to set a good example to others, yet they choose to squander this opportunity by doing the very opposite. Even more sickening is that even many who are supposedly against cruelty to animals cannot seem to resist the royals.

Sandra Busell, Edinburgh

Last stand

I am intrigued by the First Minister’s stance in relation to the Secretary of State for Scotland’s action in relation to the Gender Recognition Bill. If she is truly arguing that this action is in conflict with democracy, the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed this argument stating that this fact has no bearing on the questions which the Court had to decide.If the First Minister is intent on such an application she must argue that the Secretary of State did not have the power to impose a Section 35 Order. This will not succeed as the terms of the Scotland Act are clear.Will this latest Court action be defined as “Sturgeon’s Last Stand” by political historians in years to come?Graham A Garden, Dairsie

Flagging union

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Given the state of the Union this may well have been intentional. But were you aware that the Union Flag pictured on page 20 last week is upside down? I know things are difficult, but is the UK ready to fly a distress signal?

Iain Jack, Edinburgh

Write to Scotland on Sunday

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