Education issues

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SCOTTISH Labour leader Johann Lamont’s attack on free higher education (your report, 18 December) is flawed on many grounds. She says that it is unaffordable, but she must know that is a very dubious claim.

It is a matter of political judgment where public money is spent, and education deserves to remain a high priority.

She claims that Scottishuniversities have fallen behind. That is simply false, as even a cursory look at league tables would prove.

She then argues that free higher education is socially 
unjust. The truth is that the only section of society happy with expensive education is the very rich.

She says that those who benefit from a university education should pay it back through a graduate endowment.

That forgets the unemployment crisis among graduates, and that successful graduates already pay society back through income tax.

I could go on. But, frankly, it is difficult to understand why Ms Lamont, or any other politician who believes in social democracy, should seek to destroy the admirable Scottish policy of free higher education.

(Dr) Alistair Duff