Press coverage of Professor Riddell's remarks on fee in her book (2-3.12.2015)
The Herald Scotland in its front-page cover and the leader comment (2nd December 2015), as well as several other newspapers (3rd December 2015) quoted extensively the comments of Professor Sheila Riddell on free tuition in the concluding chapter of the book "Higher Education in Scotland and the UK: Diverging or Converging Systems?"
The book draws upon the findings of our ESRC funded project ‘HE in Scotland, the Devolution Settlement and the Referendum on Independence’, and was launched at our seminar "Widening Access to Scottish Higher Education: Getting in and Getting on" on the 1st December 2015 held at the Universit y of Edinburgh.
According to the Herald Scotland, Professor Riddell noted that the system of free higher education
has failed to produce more egalitarian outcomes compared with the rest of the UK.
She also noted that the most effecitve way of improving university participation by students from the poorest backgrounds is
to target resources on schools in the most deprived neighbourhoods.
She was also quoted by say that
A progressive graduation tax, as well as means-testesd student support, might be a more effective way of promoting social equality in higher education. However, this would involve greater critical scrutiny of universal free higher education, and his has not been encouraged.
Similar remarks from Professor Riddell were also followed by The Times, The Independent and i (from the Independent) on the 3rd December 2015.
These articles can be viewed via the following links:
2nd Dec 2015
- Frontpage - Free university tuition 'fails to break social inequalities': No evidence SNP's flagship policy boosts access to higher education, say academics (The Herald Scotland, p.1 of the PDF file)
- Leader letter: True test is to help students from poorest backgrounds (The Herald Scotland, p.2 of the PDF file)
3rd Dec 2015
- Free university is not helping poor, claim academics (The Times), Indequality in Scotland is set in stone by free university tuition (The Independent), No university fees 'causes inequalities' i (from the Independent)
Professor Riddell's remarks were followed through and backed by comments from Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservatives' leader. This was covered by The Times and the Herald Scotland on the 4th December 2015.
4th Dec 2015
- The Times - Bursaries for students fall by £60m under the SNP (by Hamish Macdonell, p.1 of the PDF file)
- The Herald Scotland - Bursary support for students falls £40m (p.2 of the PDF file)
Along the same lines, New Satesman picked up similar issues and underlined evidence from Lucy Hunter Blackburn's research.
14th Dec 2015
- News Statesman - The worst place for poor students in the UK? Scotland
- Riddell, S., Weedon, E., & Minty, Sarah (Eds.) (2015) Higher Education in Scotland and the UK: Diverging or Converging Systems? Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
- Minty, Sarah (2015) Student finance: A guide to higher education in Scotland. Edinburgh: CREID, University of Edinburgh.
- Blackburn, Hunter Lucy. (2015) Whose to lose? Citizens, institutoins and the ownership of higher educaiton funding in a devolved UK. HEPI Report 72.