The future of Scottish higher education
The Herald newspaper has published a strongly worded editorial calling for the retention in Scotland of the principle of free higher education. The paper argues that the ‘real crisis’ is not the financial position of the universities, but the debt burden that could be loaded on graduates if there were tuition fees. The editorial also suggests that tuition fees amount to the ‘privatisation’ of higher education.
Again, this is an interesting contribution to national debate, but the paper seems to be curiously unconcerned with university finances, arguing that the universities must simply adjust:
‘Universities in Scotland may have to cut their cloth; they have done so in the past.’
I would certainly agree that the impact of funding mechanisms on students and graduates is important; but the capacity of society to provide adequate resources to ensure that higher education is internationally competitive is not a minor consideration, and deserves more attention than the Herald seems to think necessary.