So, - Scottish universities are going to charge £9,000 to English students from autumn 2012, thus benefitting from the Tories' 'bright' idea here in England - which has resulted in a bullet in the foot (a £BILLION black hole in education funding) as well as untold worry to tens of thousands of prospective students and their parents, faced with a possible lifetime debt approaching £80,000.*
It's understandable, actually, I suppose, that Scottish universities will impose £9,000 annual fees on the English, and I respect the Scots for keeping their own fees at £1,800 for their own students. The Scots have always had a high regard for education, - and why would they NOT impose on English students the same idiotic debt levels the English universities are shortly to levy? The mad English fees will make money for the Scottish universities, so our (English) kids will be their cash cows.
Well, that's how it looks from where I'm sitting.
*I've read that £79,000-ish is a perfectly possible level of accrued debt based on borrowings for fees and living costs of a student who doesn't earn the (currently) £21,000 threshold for repayment until late in their career.
Of course you can see why they've done it, but it puzzles me that one EU country i.e England can be treated differently from all the others. The article I read said that all EU nationals apart from English could study in Scotland for minimal fees? English students are allowed to study in the Netherlands, for example, under the same terms as Dutch students. Ah well, DS doesn't want to study in Scotland anyway.
Err if someone doesn't reach 21k until late in their career then they are going to pay back very little of their total accrued debt. Whether they owe 60k, 80k or 100k doesn't make a blind bit of difference as they will not clear it anyway and the amount of the debt will not affect the monthly repayments, which will always be 9% of income over 21k and not a percentage of the debt.
I know it isn't an EU country. My point is that it is treated differently from the rest of the EU. As to the paying back, I suspect most graduates would hope to be earning more than £21k. Whatever the percentage it's a nightmare to have that debt hanging over you as you start your adult life. Frankly if the graduate doesn't earn £21k until late in their career they probably shouldn't have opted for university.