Access to education: based on the ability to learn

Stewart Maxwell MSP has welcomed comments from the National Union of Students Scotland president, who praised the Scottish Government for their efforts to widen access to Scottish higher education. 
 
Robin Parker, NUS Scotland President, said:
 
“The Scottish Government has done a lot in this area in recent years by abolishing fees, protecting places and pledging to increase student support.”
 
Mr Maxwell, Convener of the Education and Culture Committee, said that he would be working to help make universities an option for all people in Scotland, regardless of their economic background.
 
He said:
 
“The Scottish Government has delivered on the SNP’s 2011 Scottish election manifesto pledge to keep higher education free as well as protecting places for Scottish students in further and higher education.
 
“We have delivered on our cast iron promise that education should be based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay.”
 
Mr Maxwell cited the number of people in Scotland applying to English universities which has fallen by 15.7 per cent since last year, compared to a small reduction in applications from this group to Scottish universities of just 1.7%.
 
He said:
 
“The latest figures on university applications show the impact that tuition fees south of the border are having on prospective students from Scotland.
 
“The number of people in Scotland applying to English universities has fallen by 15.7 per cent since last year, compared to a small reduction in applications from this group to Scottish universities of just 1.7%.”
 
The MSP for West Scotland added that if Labour had their way then free higher education would become a thing of the past.
 
“The Labour Party in Scotland can hang their heads in shame over their betrayal on this matter.
 
“Labour voters will be aghast at their abandonment and blatant disregard for free education – one of its core principles. This just highlights how Labour in Scotland is turning ever increasingly Tory.”
 

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