§ Mr. Allan Stewart
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to increase the level of the home full-time undergraduate tuition fee from 1990–91; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
The proposals in the consultation paper "Shifting the Balance of Public Funding of Higher Education to Fees" have been widely welcomed in Scotland; and I have decided that the tuition fee for full-time undergraduate and most other students whose fees are reimbursed under the students' allowance scheme for Scottish residents will be set at £1,675 for the academic year 1990–91. This increase matches a decision announced today by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science to increase the fees reimbursed in the scheme of mandatory awards for residents of England and Wales.
In acknowledgment, however, of representations which have been made in response to consultations, I have decided to extend the fee increase to full-time non-degree courses in Scotland leading to qualifications for 300W professions supplementary to medicine and social work for which fees are reimbursed in the students' allowance scheme.
This new level of fee will offer higher education institutions a clear incentive to attract additional students, and will thus further our policy of extending wider access to higher education. For nearly all full-time students, the higher fee will continue to be met through the schemes of student awards, so that as now there will be no cost to the student. For those students who pay their own fees—part-time students or full-time students who are ineligible for awards—we intend to maintain the level of funds available for distribution as grant to the institutions, so that there should be no pressure on the institutions to charge such students more in real terms than they are paying at present. I look to the institutions to ensure that these students are protected from the increased level of fee.