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.
Keeping education free
Under the SNP, there will never be tuition fees.
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 that’s why we’ll never introduce front-door tuition fees nor back-door graduate taxes.
While students in Scotland face no costs, Westminster has tripled fees for students in England – which are now up to £9,250 a year, and in Wales, up to £9,000 a year under a Labour government.
🏴 In Scotland, we delivered on our promise of free education and have maintained it since 2008.
🎓 Westminster has tripled fees for students in England and the Scottish Tories voted against scrapping tuition fees in 2017.
💛 Free education will always be guaranteed by the SNP. pic.twitter.com/ueyHNgYHJ0
— The SNP (@theSNP) October 6, 2020
Widening access for 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’re guaranteeing a university place for every care-experienced young person meeting the entry requirements and provide them with a full bursary.
First Minister @NicolaSturgeon has fulfilled her promise to meet 1,000 care experienced young people in Scotland.
— Scottish Government (@scotgov) February 4, 2020
Supporting our colleges
The SNP Government have spent a record sum on Scotland’s colleges, and we continue to maintain at least 116,000 full-time equivalent Scottish Government-funded college places.
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.
We’re providing record levels of support to further education students with an over £111 million investment in college bursaries and discretionary funds – a real-terms increase of 33% since 2006-2007.
🤝 £70m investment in youth employment
🧰 More modern apprenticeships
🖥️ More college places
🎓 Free tuition
🚍 Free bus travel for under-22s
We’re determined to give every young Scot the best start in life – here’s how. 👇🏼https://t.co/KRx3Adp0U0
— The SNP (@theSNP) July 29, 2021
Helping graduates into work
The principles 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, are being extended to more contracts and government support grants.
We’re also delivering our Young Person’s Guarantee, offering every 16-24 year old in Scotland the opportunity of a job, apprenticeship, further or higher education, training, or volunteering.
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 – and our SNP MPs at Westminster will keep fighting for a fairer deal for young workers.
💷 We’re investing £70 million in Scotland’s young people’s futures.
🤝 Our Young Person’s Guarantee aims to offer every 16-24 year old in Scotland an opportunity of a job, apprenticeship, education or training.
✅ That’s another SNP manifesto commitment delivered. pic.twitter.com/YYRfK9OBrX
— The SNP (@theSNP) July 28, 2021
And don’t just take our word for it…
Our policies for students and young people have received praise from experts.
Professor Sir Peter Scott said an increase in the number of students from more disadvantaged backgrounds at university proved the SNP policy was clearly working.
Sir Peter went on to issue a warning over the charging of tuition fees of £9,250 in England, saying the system there was “collapsing”.
Powerful article discussing progress in widening access in Scottish higher education. “SNP policy of free university tuition ‘vindicated’ says expert | HeraldScotland” @JohnSwinney https://t.co/QrlyCQp3TP
— Richard Lochhead (@RichardLochhead) January 23, 2019