Aberdeen University will charge £27,000 for a degree

LeftCentral has received a disturbing press release from the National Union of Students’ Scotland branch this evening, confirming suspicions that a Scottish education will go from being a cheaper option for UK students to a more expensive option.

Here is the press release:

The University of Aberdeen today became the first higher education institution in Scotland to raise fees for students from the rest of the UK after announcing its decision to charge £27,000 for a degree.

This rise in fees now makes the University of Aberdeen’s degrees, which take four years to complete, more expensive than those at Oxford or Cambridge University, where degrees take three years to obtain, depending on the bursaries scheme it makes available.

Robin Parker, President of NUS Scotland, said:

“We fully reject any increase in fees but this is a disastrous decision. It’s urgent that students get clarity about what bursaries will be available to protect fair access. Unless the University comes forward with a strong bursary package, students from the rest of the UK will be paying more for a degree than at Oxford or Cambridge University. This is nothing more than cashing in on students from the rest of the UK.

“The Scottish Government must now review its proposals for fees for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland coming to Scotland. After Westminster trebled fees in England we recognise that the Scottish Government had to do something but giving near free reign to principals has clearly backfired.

“These proposals must now be altered to introduce a strong bursary system for the poorest students. Anything else will jeopordise fairness and jeopardise Scotlands reputation in the rest of the UK.”

Tessa Birley, President of Aberdeen University Students’ Association, said:

“Although the University of Aberdeen has been forced into a difficult decision by the UK and Scottish Governments and as a result of the funding gap, it’s disappointing that today’s decision to raise fees for students from the rest of the UK will result in the cost of a degree exceeding those in England. We don’t agree at all with fees going up, especially above levels seen in England. If Aberdeen wants to be a top university it shouldn’t price out students from the rest of the UK.

“Equally disappointing is the amount of bursaries, despite students here spending an extra year to obtain a degree than down south. We suspect that without involvement of our Students’ Association, however, even less support would have been offered. We’ll continue to campaign to ensure that those that want to go to university can- no matter what their financial background.

“What’s really worrying is the amount of debt that students will get into at University, and the increase in fees will only make it worse.”

For more information contact Russell Gunson, NUS Scotland’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs, on 07811 370 623.

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