‘It’s now also clear that standing up to the political impulse to go national, fast, would have enabled the costs to be pinned down better before the long-term commitment was made…
‘Most access initiatives target the people identified as disadvantaged. We remain less comfortable curtailing the effects of privilege.’
“The Scottish system is not debt-free in the absence of fees: indeed Scottish students are borrowing a substantial amount as a group each year. The Scottish approach relies heavily on loans to cover the state’s role in providing low-income students, in particular, with living cost support. Grants are now so low that those from the lowest incomes are taking on the most of that living cost debt.”
“there is no realistic chance that the Scottish Government is going to reduce its reliance on student loans to underwrite the higher education system. £500m is roughly the annual cost of the whole FE system, or 1p on the basic rate of income tax” Scotland’s leading expert on another model – and more – of funding HE.
“The Scottish Government recently declared itself a “global leading light in the campaign for more open and accessible government”. Going backwards in terms of openness and accessibility in relation to special advisers suggests that there’s still a bit of work to do making good that commitment.”
New data from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) suggests the scale of change needed to meet the Scottish Government’s targets for widening access to university – a key pledge of Nicola Sturgeon’s first full term – may be too much. The 2021 targets Government’s targets come from last year’s report by the Commission on Widening Access, […]
“Commentators (myself included) can be pretty critical of the opposition parties at Holyrood for not being more effective. But if the budget document – one of the single most important things the government puts before the Parliament – contains these sort of inconsistencies, they really are up against it.”
“At the very least, the hyping in 2012 of a new of ‘minimum income’ which would benefit all low-income students looks increasingly to have been based on a shoogly set of assumptions about how quite a few of its target audience would respond.”
The Scottish Government is keen to stress the role of college-based HE in getting poorer students into degree courses. But it ignores the cumulative effect of cuts to student bursaries over the years since 2007.
John Swinney is a Big Beast brought in by the First Minister to close the attainment gap in Scottish schools – or “fix” a failing system. Lots of ideas swirling around but a rather vague SNP manifesto – and no clear pointers to the way ahead.