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To be gobsmacked at how lucky we are in Scotland with our low tuition fees? Hats off to you lot elsewhere in the UK - and foreign students!

(249 Posts)
49CremeEggs Wed 20-Feb-13 12:43:09

Completed my first degree in my teens to early twenties. Got it completely free thanks to SAAS.

I'm starting a second unrelated undergraduate degree in September for which i will have to fund the last two years myself (it's an allied health professional course, so SAAS will still pay the first two years). Each year costs approx £1,850, so I hope to save £4,000 by the time i'm due to start my third year.

However, for the rest of the UK, it's £9,000 a year! For foreign students coming here to study, it's £13,500 a year

Why on earth does it vary so greatly? It's completely unfair.

Makes me realise just how lucky i am to be in Scotland. And i hope SAAS is still around in twelve years' time when my dd will (hopefully) be starting to think about uni.

Not meaning to sound patronising, but hats off to all you non-Scottish students. How on earth can anyone afford to study elsewhere? Do you get loans?

I took out a loan for living expenses during my first degree. Think it totalled to under £3000 for the whole course.

Safe to say, if i wasn't living in Scotland, i'd have moved here in a jiffy if it meant no tuition fees.

Roseformeplease Fri 22-Feb-13 21:34:15

Drought here last summer. Hosepipe ban on the islands and the real danger of running out of water. No snow and glorious weather at the moment. What's not to love?

But....I am English and have been here a long time and I HATE sports yet still have to be ridiculed and insulted by a minority of wankers whenever there is any kind of England / Scotland football thing on. Rugby fans aren't bothered but I found the Anyone But England thing, frankly, insulting. Some of the comments, if you substituted another rqce, would be taken far more seriously. The English seem to be fair game, sadly.

My husband is Scottish, as are my children, and he finds the whole attitude rather embarrassing. (He went to University with Salmond who, he maintains, is racist and looks like a guppy).

I also have concerns that the free tuition is keeping students in Scotland (teacher - see it all the time) and so bringing up a generation who are increasingly insular, parochial and not prepared to compete. If you just pop down the road to the local Uni with your mates you are missing out on the chance to spread your wings. Large parts of Scotland are far from multi-cultural and I would love my own children to go to London, Dublin, Cardiff (anywhere) for University. Sadly, they will be restricted to Scotland by the desire to avoid paying fees. Not sure that the Tuition thing for English students isn't being challenged in the courts at the moment.

redlac Fri 22-Feb-13 21:43:57

I don't think that that is necessarily due to the fees though - everyone I know that went to uni did so in Scotland - not necessarily their local one though.

I'm pretty certain that by the time my DD is of age to go to Uni that the fees will be in place and Scotland will be on different from the rest of the uk - it won't be like this forever

SarahLundKicksAss Fri 22-Feb-13 21:46:53

That's a really interesting perspective Rose about Scots students staying in Scotland. I think you're right; it must create a sense of insularity. I am English, live in England. My DS is at a Scottish uni, and he's loving his uni live Glasgow, which is very different to home (we live in quite a rural village). I have friends in Scotland; their DD would love to study in England, but has decided to stick with a slightly less appealing course for her in Scotland, due to the fees issue.

Roseformeplease Fri 22-Feb-13 21:52:52

Yes, many did stay in Scotland. But many also went elsewhere. I was at both Exeter and Cambridge and both were full of Scots in the 80s/90s and my own Scottish pupils did sometimes cross the border but no one has done for a few years now - not even for an Oxbridge offer.

Roseformeplease Fri 22-Feb-13 21:54:34

It is also a problem for some courses. In Scotland there are not many places to study Pharmacy. Also, medicine can only be studied the "traditional" way - you can't transfer from another related degree as you can in England, further narrowing options. Some languages are hard to come by. Etc etc.

ReturnOfEmeraldGreen Fri 22-Feb-13 22:05:11

Ah Rose, I feared that would be the case sad I grew up in the Central Belt and went to Bristol University. 2 others from my year went south, IIRC - one to Imperial, the other to Lancaster. Everyone else went to Glasgow or Stirling, and this was in the early '90s, pre-fees and with a diminishing grant still in existence. I put down 5 English universities on my UCAS form and my 'guidance teacher' called me in for an interview and asked me what my problem was, and if I was 'running away from something' - I just burst out laughing, much to her displeasure grin

It saddens me that fees will discourage Scottish students from going to English universities - going south enormously enhanced my life and I would have hated to feel unable to do it. 'Insular' and 'parochial' are sadly words that I tend to use and upset people with think when I consider Scotland today.

13Iggis Fri 22-Feb-13 22:21:25

Returnofemeraldgreen - your experience suggests the desire to attend local universities predates the fees issue. Most people (by no means all, but most) of Northern Irish people go to the NI universities. People don't always want to leave their country.
Also, on this thread people are talking about English students having to pay fees in Scotland - I assume this applies to NIrish and Welsh students too, but as usual "the rest of the UK" seems to be translated into "English"!

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 22-Feb-13 22:22:15

Aw, come on Rose, with sporting events, yes you will be mocked and ridiculed.
As is my brother, who's lived in the South East longer than when he left Scotland at 21, and he's now in his 50's. It's banter, and it happens everywhere.
I remember many, many years ago leaving a rugby match when Scotland defeated Wales, and some Welsh supporters said 'fair enough, as long as you beat the English', it's a thing, it will always be, which is why devolution was the best thing that ever happened.
And maybe we need to question why people think that way.
I remember speaking to a a bloke when I was on holiday in Greece a couple of years ago. He was a nice intelligent man, but when he said Edinburgh was one of the most beautiful cities in England I was a bit shock. That sort of ignorance shouldn't matter, but it irrationally annoyed me
I haven't decided yet how I'll vote yet on Independence,I'll weigh the pros and cons, and it certainly won't be because I hate the English.
Oh, and as for universities being parochial, you've got to be kidding.
There is a huge mix of International students at most Scottish universities, Edinburgh and Glasgow particularly where there are many English students.
But I suppose their influence will keep us on our Scottish toes, we can't be seen to be to uppity.

ReturnOfEmeraldGreen Fri 22-Feb-13 22:25:23

uppity hmm

ubik Fri 22-Feb-13 22:34:33

I don't recognise the parochial thing either - DD's school has around 70 languages spoken, children from all over the world attend.

People behave as if Scottish people never leave Scotkand -practically everyone Scottish I have spoken to has lived in England at some point for study or work, or have family down there. And there are plenty of people from the rest of the world who have made Scotland their home.

BegoniaBampot Fri 22-Feb-13 22:51:39

Nearly everyone I know from my town (family and friends) still live there. Very few leave or even move a mile or two to the next town. My nieces and nephews all went to Uni/college just a few miles away and all stayed living with their parents through their studies.

Parochial and insular is how I feel about it,especially for the small towns etc.

goingmadinthecountry Fri 22-Feb-13 22:57:58

Law at Edinburgh is offered at an average of BBB - great for a top university, but it's Scottish law so not much good down here. Of dd's 5 offers last year, 4 were AAA.

And with the 21k loan thing, none of my 4 dcs intend to start a job on less so hopefully will be paying straight away. Wish I could afford for them not to have that debt - they don't deserve to start life like that. At least I can afford for them not to have the maintenance loan on its ridiculous CPI+ percentage. It's worth it to me.

I resent this government in too many ways to mention. We can afford to support our dcs to some extent and having both been there ourselves know the value of a good university education. I know of A level students from last year with straight As/A* who are opting not to go to university due to family circumstances.

I'm not saying we can afford to provide free places as we did in the 80s, but this year is a step too far.

Roseformeplease Fri 22-Feb-13 23:00:15

It is really just English students paying (and non EU) as Welsh students have their fees paid by the Welsh Assembly, NI students, in many cases, have an Irish passport, so can count as EU, not UK. And yes, there is a mix of students at many Universities but many parts of Scotland are not ethnically diverse (mine, for example) and that is reflected in the mix of home grown students at Universities. Bristol, I suspect, is far more diverse than St Andrews etc etc. also, a Scot travelling to Bristol, as above will make a wider range of friends from all over than those that run home every weekend (night?) as many do who do not travel far.

My husband's Scottish friend hated Glasgow in the 80s as many of the students still lived at home and so he found it hard to get to know them as they mixed only with old friends.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 22-Feb-13 23:08:25

The other problem with Scots studying at English universities is that of enough English universities don't understand the Scottish Education system. They often devalue the Scottish exams and ask for unrealistic grades. Once you actually get in on may find that you are missing large chunks of knowledge that our English compatriots have, and it is just assumed that you do to.

I think in a lot of cases that is why Scottish students tend to stay in Scotland. Besides, going to lie in a different city is a big enough adventure. You don't need to move to a different country to spread your wings...

pollypandemonium Fri 22-Feb-13 23:11:08

So if it's always been 'parochial and insular' then banning fees on university education won't make any difference. I find that when people are born and die in the same area there is more stability within the community and a greater sense of social responsibility. A transient population isn't always the best thing.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 22-Feb-13 23:47:27

I beg to differ ItsAll, the English education system is a mess.
In Scotland, you just go to the allocated school in your area unless you decide to go private.
I can't believe the angst on here about 'which school should I send my child' from so many posters.
And the Scottish universities have a history of producing the best Medical schools, which is why Edinburgh is inundated with English students.

indyandlara Sat 23-Feb-13 07:43:57

Unfortunately Lady this is not the case in Edinburgh. Every year an enormous number of parents apply for out of catchment places and many of tthem which cannot be granted. There is much angst about school places in Edinburgh and the legal appeal system is often rumbling on well into September. I would imagine something similar happens in most big cities. It certainly does in our local school in a small town.

13Iggis Sat 23-Feb-13 08:06:00

NI students, in many cases, have an Irish passport
Ha ha ha.

deste Sat 23-Feb-13 19:29:52

Indyandlara it doesn't happen in Aberdeen. You usually go to the nearest school.

SanityClause Sat 23-Feb-13 19:32:58

It's okay, OP.

When Scotland becomes independent, we will all be able to send our DC to university in Scotland FOR FREE!

13Iggis Sat 23-Feb-13 19:37:32

Deste, leaving aside the large number of Edinburgh children who are sent to private schools, most children there do go to the local school. There may well be requests that don't get met, but at least everyone is guaranteed a place at the local, catchment school.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 23-Feb-13 20:26:06

Sanity
Only if Scotland is part of the EU...

indyandlara Sat 23-Feb-13 21:34:30

13Iggis my school turned down around 15 kids for a class of 25 this year in p1. Deste that's interesting as I would have presumed Aberdeen would have been similar.

Everyone may be a guaranteed a place in their catchment school but that doesn't mean that everyone is happy with that. There is a lot of movement of children out with catchment (not including private) and a huge amount of angst among parents if nursery and p7 kids who are worrying about their next year.

SarahLundKicksAss Sun 24-Feb-13 09:31:19

If Scotland becomes independent, and remains in the EU, then IF there is still free tuition for EU students, the scottish unis will be completely swamped with english applicants - this will have a huge impact on the english HE sector (many ex-poly unis will be forced to close), and will mean that scottish students will face greater competition to get into their home unis.

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