Standing up for students

Scotland has some of the best universities in the world, and we’re proud to support students by enabling access to education based on the ability to learn, rather than the ability to pay.

The SNP continues to champion Scotland’s students and deliver progress for our higher and further education sector.

Here’s how.

Keeping education free – there will never be tuition fees under the SNP

We believe that education should be treated as a right, not a commodity. 

That’s why the SNP Scottish Government abolished tuition fees in 2008, and we will always keep access to university education free of tuition fees. 

We will never introduce front-door tuition fees nor back-door graduate taxes.

Widening access to students from disadvantaged backgrounds

We are implementing the recommendations of the Widening Access Commission, which was set up by the Scottish Government to develop plans to help more students from disadvantaged backgrounds  enter and succeed in higher education.

We have invested over £1billion in our universities since 2012, and under the SNP, record numbers of Scots are being accepted to study at university – with record numbers from our most deprived communities too.

What’s more, we will guarantee a university place for every care-experienced young person meeting the entry requirements and provide them with a full bursary.

Supporting our colleges

The SNP Government have spent a record sum on Scotland’s colleges, with a college budget of over £600 million in 2019-20, and we continue to maintain at least 116,000 full-time equivalent Scottish Government-funded college places.

Full-time college students in Scotland can now benefit from the highest bursary of anywhere in the UK, and our review of student funding is aiming to make it even fairer.

We’ve also expanded the Education Maintenance Allowance in Scotland – now scrapped south of the border – to support even more college students from low income families.

Standing up for international students

We are proud to welcome tens of thousands of students from the EU and beyond into Scottish universities up and down the country.

The Tories’ reckless Brexit plans and their ‘hostile’ approach to immigration mean that EU nationals studying in England face an increase in tuition fees.

Meanwhile, the SNP continues to provide free tuition to EU students at Scottish universities.

Helping graduates into work

The principals of Fair Work, which include the living wage, action on gender pay, investment in skills and training, no exploitative zero-hours contracts and genuine workforce engagement, will be extended to more contracts and government support grants.

Whilst employment law is currently reserved to the UK Government, we are using all levers at our disposal to promote Fair Work and to tackle worker exploitation.

Exploitation of graduates through zero-hours contracts, unpaid internships and workplace discrimination is not welcome in Scotland, and our SNP MPs will keep fighting for a fairer deal for young workers.

Only the full devolution of employment powers will allow the Scottish Parliament to provide long term guarantees and help deliver our progressive fair work agenda and we will continue to press the UK Government to devolve these powers.

Don’t just take our word for it – our policies for students received praise from experts

Professor Sir Peter Scott said an increase in the number of poor students at university proved the SNP policy was clearly working.

Sir Peter went on to issue a warning over the charging of tuition fees of more than £9,000 in England, saying the system there was “collapsing”.