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Scotland generous to students

The Scottish Cabinet has decided to abolish the graduate endowment on April 1. The fee was introduced for Scottish domiciled students and EU students entering a Scottish university from 2001/2002. The graduate endowment was a one-off payment on successful completion of a higher education course of three years or more. The first students became liable to pay the fee in 2005. The payment was possible in cash, as an addition to the student load or as a combination of the both. Around 70 percent of the students chose to add the endowment fee to their loans.

The Scottish Graduate Endowment Abolition Bill means that all the current and future students, as well as those who graduated on or after April 1, 2007, will not have to pay this “tax on learning”, as Lifelong Learning Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop called the charge. She added that “fear of debt can be a real deterrent and can actually prevent some young people going to university.” She claimed that the Cabinet’s decision was very much based on the fact that two thirds of the graduates could not afford to pay the endowment and just added it to their loans.

The Cabinet Secretary continued: “We believe access to education should be based on ability to learn, not ability to pay.” This should be kept in mind by other educational policy-makers as well.

Scottish Government