Blimey: can Scotland meet its widening access targets?

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, […]

Baby boxes, universalism and higher taxes

“If it is baby boxes for all as a sign of our equality, let it be free fuel for all, free transport for all, citizen’s income for all, free school meals, shoes and coats for all. If the aim is the best start in life for all of Jock Tamson’s bairns, then why not? What would stop us?”

UBI – new idea, kauld kale

“A full-blown universal income would be even more expensive, involving rises of 10%, taking the basic rate of income tax to 30% and the higher and top rates to 50%. Politically those increases are unthinkable. They would take us back to the 1970s. Since then the direction of income taxes has been relentlessly downwards…”

The triumph of Trumpocracy

Trump’s trriumph “portends the imminent destruction or disabling of the institutions on the Hill, both Senate and Congress, and the marginalisation – to the point of irrelevance or puppetry – of NGOs and institutions of civil society, including unions, that could provide advocacy and protection for many sections of the population.”

Commoditising student life

Is this the shape of higher education to come? In Scotland we worry about widening access; in London about being able to afford it all. The sheer cost of student living must act as a deterrent – and turn the entire HE experience into a commoditised service.

New Education Minister: raising standards

Her choice of Education Minister will be a defining element of Nicola Sturgeon’s likely cabinet reshuffle and of her first full five-year term as First Minister. The agenda could not be tougher or more complex – and the selection of the minister and team full of pitfalls. Here are a few pointers – and runners and riders.