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£9k student fees for English, Welsh and N.Irish students in Scotland but NO COST to other EU members?

(20 Posts)
fabanflabby Tue 23-Aug-11 13:46:42


All EU members get free uni places in Scotland except English, Welsh and N. Irish students?

A politically motivated decision perhaps?
payback for Thatcher using Scotland as a testing ground to introduce the first Community Charges / Poll Tax?
an attempt to plug the £200m deficit in Scotlands education budget?
or as ever I am being tooooo cynical.

Either way a bad decision and a chance for Cameron to grow a spine and abolish all Uni fee's here or give us a referrendum on joing the EU?

Surely if we are all EU members shouldn't the playing field be a level one, especially when it comes to providing the next generation an education?

puddingbasin Tue 23-Aug-11 13:50:02

I don't understand it.

They say that students from the EU have to be treated the same as Scottish students because it would amount to racial discrimination if they charged them and yet English, Welsh etc can be charged and that isn't race discrimination. confused

AMumInScotland Tue 23-Aug-11 14:02:33

The unfairness is that England decided unilaterally to stop providing grants to cover fees to students who live in England. Scotland continued to provide grants to students who live there.

Students from the rest of the EU have to be treated the same as local students, under a geenral EU agreement, not to do with racial discrimination.

I think the "UK" is about the only EU country which doesn't have a single standard throughout - it used to, but England decided to change. So whose fault is that?

LadyLapsang Tue 23-Aug-11 14:37:20

It's not Scotland's fault. If English students could go North to study for no fees it would cause enormous problems because of the hike in fees in England. Scotland is not the protagonist here. I speak as someone living in England with a DS studying very happily at a Scottish university.

midnightexpress Tue 23-Aug-11 14:44:49

What a muminscotlandsays. Blame your own government not ours.

puddingbasin Tue 23-Aug-11 14:49:59

Why does the EU agreement exclude other countries from the UK? I'm not blaming the Scottish government, I just don't understand.

fabanflabby Tue 23-Aug-11 14:50:58

I think its a case of ' you get what you vote for!'

Scotland voted in a party who have delivered on what they promised - free education and the least we say about what we ( in England ) voted in the better!! Bloody useless - stumbling their way from one crisis to another at the moment and spending all their energies arse covering!

I think this is close to my heart because for the first time in my life I STUPIDLY voted Lib Dem in the last election as Clegg made promises on student fees and at that time I believed he was going to deliver.

Baby hormones / maternity leave / not using the grey matter enough!
Put my madness down to any of the above but we really did get shafted here!

I do still believe however there should be one rule for all the EU member states especially on providing equal education opportunities for EU citizens.

On Puddinbasins point of this being a case of discrimination - of course it is!

Here's a case to consider - If a person is born in Scotland and lives there all their life, works and pays taxes, has a child who is educated in Scotland until a teenager. The family then move to England for whatever reason.
4 years later that child applies to a Scottish Uni for a free place and is turned down on the basis that ' as they have not been a resident in Scotland for 3 years they are no longer a Scottish citizen and therefore have to pay the full Uni fee's'.

I dont think this is right and I would bet the parents of that child would have something to say of they have spent the majority of their working lives paying taxes in Scotland.

The whole thing smacks of discrimination.

midnightexpress Tue 23-Aug-11 14:55:07

I think because it's reciprocal - ie if a Scottish student went abroad to study they'd get their fees free too. Which they wouldn't if they went to England. If I've understood correctly.

Spidermama Tue 23-Aug-11 14:55:13

'You get what you vote for'?? Try telling that to people who voted Lib Dem at the last election.

AMumInScotland Tue 23-Aug-11 14:56:05

I think it is because the EU treats the UK as a single country, and the rule is that students from outside the UK have to be treated the same as local students. So, in Scotland they have to be treated the same as Scottish students, but in England they get treated the same as English students. And if a UK student went to uni in France, for example, they would be treated the same as a French student.

I guess the EU rule doesn't cover a "country" where different regions have different rules?

midnightexpress Tue 23-Aug-11 15:39:28

Ah right that makes sense.

Xenia Wed 24-Aug-11 13:52:07

There is a new legal challenge to this so it is all to play for.

However i think if say Greece started introducing £9k a year fees for its own students then Scotland could charge Greek students £9k. Is that right?

midnightexpress Wed 24-Aug-11 16:43:25

No, my understanding is that Scottish students would be charged 9k to study in Greece, but Greek students would study free in Scotland - ie an EU student in another country is charged as a home student from the same country would be. I think...

Xenia Wed 24-Aug-11 22:29:57

In that case I can see why it's worth someone bringing the court case (although if I had to put money on it I think they might lose).

"Phil Shiner, of Public Interest Lawyers, believes charging non-Scottish students more could break the European Convention on Human Rights and also the British Equality Act.

Currently, Scottish undergraduates pay no fees, while students from the rest of the UK pay between £1,820 and £2,895 a year.

From 2012-13, students from the rest of the UK could pay up to £9,000 a year for a degree from a Scottish university while Scots will continue to pay nothing.

EU students will also pay nothing, because EU law means that they must be treated in the same way as home students.

Mr Shiner said that the UK fees system was “deeply discriminatory”. “This goes to the heart of everything I hold dear,” he said.

He is representing two students from London who have been granted a judicial review to challenge the increase in English tuition fees, because it could discriminate against poorer and ethnic minority students.

Mr Shiner has now moved his attention to the discrepancy between fees for Scottish students and those in the rest of the UK.

Holyrood, which has stuck to its position of providing free tuition for Scottish students, has raised fees for rest of UK students in order to prevent a flood of “fee refugees” who want to avoid English universities that are raising fees to up to £9,000 a year.

The Scottish government argues that its proposals, and the current system, are lawful because the differences in fees are based on domicile, rather than nationality."

dreamingofsun Wed 31-Aug-11 11:35:22

think xenia has it right. its totally wrong whichever way you look at this - from the english taxpayers who's obviously paying too much tax, to the english students who are being penalised and saddled with vast amounts of debt. I also think its wrong that students subsidise poorer students by 9k - this should come out of general taxation.

ZZZenAgain Wed 31-Aug-11 11:38:10

it is very strange

alemci Wed 31-Aug-11 11:48:41

I think it is very wrong. Also English taxpayers are subsidising Scotland to enable their children to have a free university education.

I could accept it if the other EU countries had to pay as well but not for England, Wales and N Ireland. I am glad it is being contested.

RunnerHasbeen Wed 31-Aug-11 11:50:12

What is the alternative for the Scottish government when the English government moved the goalposts? They are not allowed to give places preferentially to Scottish students, so the "free" Scottish places would fill up with English students being funded by the money the Scottish government has allocated to higher education - funding they consider worthwhile to benefit the Scottish population as a whole and which reduces the money going to other devolved issues, such as health or police.

English students are more likely to move back down south after getting their degree, so the population funding their education do not benefit, in fact they lose out as there are less places available for them to study.

Or they are forced to introduce identical fees, going against the entire philosophy of devolution and the votes of the Scottish populace.

If you have a problem with this it lies with the Westminister government and English people need to start realising that and focusing their energy inwards instead of joining in the moral outrage of how unfair things are when they look outwards. Scotland only got a solution to the unfairness in the 80s through debate and voting for it, not through being snippy and petty.

dreamingofsun Wed 31-Aug-11 11:55:22

runner - agree westminster needs to do something about this. maybe the legal challenge will encourage them. Barnett formular (or whatever its called) should be scrapped immediately - then i wouldn't care about this as we wouldn't be subsidising it

adamschic Wed 31-Aug-11 11:55:36

I am looking forward to next month and hearing how the legal challenge pans out. I'm not that well read on it but and it could be two different cases, one about the situation for English, N Ireland and Welsh students studying in Scotland and another one where 2 English students are challenging the 9K fees as a human rights issue to an education.

Perhaps others will know more than I do.

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