Scottish independence: would higher education remain free?

Picture: Colin Templeton
Picture: Colin Templeton
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Free university tuition for Scottish students has been a flagship SNP policy during the party’s six years in power.

Alex Salmond previously said that “The rocks will melt with the sun before I allow tuition fees to be imposed on Scottish students – upfront or backdoor” as he invoked the words and spirit of Robert Burns to set out the SNP’s position on higher education.

Scottish universities are controversially allowed to charge English students up to £9,000 in tuition fees a year.

However, some students from some other European Union nations have managed to avoid paying fees in Scotland.

The SNP insists that it would continue to fund free tuition for Scottish students under independence, if the party remains in power.

However, some of Scotland’s leading universities have claimed they are starved of cash by the free tuition policy in Scotland, while English institutions can charge fees.

There is no guarantee that free tuition would remain in place if Labour was to take power at Holyrood under independence.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has launched a review of free universal services such as free university tuition.