Speaking in support of the University and College Union and the National Union of Students joint demonstration challenging the cuts in education spending that is being held in London today (Wednesday 10 November), Grahame Smith Scottish Trades Union Congress General Secretary said:
“We fully support the UCU and the NUS in their demonstration. Cuts in education funding are already having an effect in Scotland, with universities being told to expect 16% reductions in their annual budgets. Cuts of this magnitude will put at risk thousands of jobs across Scotland and threaten the education of students up and down the country.
“In England, the coalition government have decided to fund higher education by raising tuition fees to £9000 per year. This is not a solution. Placing the funding burden on students rather than the State may ease short term budget pressures but it does so by plunging young people into a lifetime of debt and ultimately, with little State support there will continue to be pressure from Universities to raise fees year on year.
“We welcome the decision of the Scottish Government not to introduce tuition fees and their commitment to finding an alternative and sustainable solution to university funding. We are mindful, however, of the very great pressure that this new system of fees south of the border places on Scotland. The UK Government should rethink their policy and honour the Lib Dem election commitment to remove tuition fees once and for all.”
For further information contact
Helen Martin 0141 337 8100