STUDENTS from across Scotland marched in Edinburgh today (wed) to defend education and to protest against increases to tuition fees across the UK.
Three hundred students attended the march which was organised by Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) and part of their RUKidding campaign against fee increases for students from the rest of the UK studying in Scotland.
Matt McPherson, EUSA President, says: “By meeting at the Scottish Parliament and marching to the Scotland Office we are sending our message to the Scottish and UK Governments that the doors of our universities should be open to all.
“The Scottish Government were irresponsible with the decision they made to de-regulate fees for students from the rest of theUKand the UK Government has turned its back on our generation’s future.
“As borders to education are built up we will intensify our campaign to break them down.”
Robin Parker, President of NUS Scotland, said:”NUS Scotland fully supports EUSA’s demonstration on rest-of-UK fees, which will see students from right across Scotland travel to Edinburgh to let politicians know that tuition fees put off students from the poorest backgrounds from accessing education.
“Ultimately these fees are the responsibility of the regressive educational policies of the Westminster Government, and the Scottish Liberal Democrat MPs who went back on their promises have to take ultimate responsibility.
“However, the Scottish Government is not free from blame, as it’s responsible for giving Scottish universities more free-reign than their English counterparts to set fee levels.
“Students from rest of theUKwill potentially be paying more than 36k for a degree in Scotland from next year, more than the maximum allowed inEngland, if you take the huge numbers from down south who attend Edinburgh and St Andrews into account.
“And unlike in other parts of the UK, there are no requirements in Scotland for institutions to have a minimum level of bursary for poorer students, and no independent regulation to ensure transparency for students about what additional support is on offer.
“The Scottish Government should listen to the voice of students in Edinburgh today (Wednesday) and lower the fee cap for RUK students. They should ensure minimum levels of spend on bursaries by institutions, and create an independent regulator which will protect access for students from the rest of theUK.”