NUS Scotland President, Ellie Gomersall, has called on the Scottish Labour Education team to retain free tuition in Scotland after Labour leader Keir Starmer announced this week plans to backtrack on the commitment to abolish tuition fees.
Read the full letter below:
Dear Anas Sarwar and Pam Duncan-Glancy,
Students across the UK today are feeling worried and let down by the Labour Party’s withdrawal of their pledge to abolish tuition fees. Despite constant reassurances that the party would continue its commitment to free higher education, Keir Starmer yesterday confirmed rumours that the Labour Party will not abolish tuition fees if they win the next UK general election.
This is extremely disappointing for everyone throughout the UK. Free education allows life-long learning. It is a vital step in making training and retraining accessible to all. We know that free and accessible education is beneficial for the economy; creating a work force of highly trained and expert professionals.
Not only is education essential to revitalise our economy, it is also crucial in fighting the climate crisis. Retraining of people who work in the oil and gas industry allows them to use their skills in renewable energy fields. A free and accessible education system gives us the opportunity to be world-leaders in fighting the climate crisis.
We are lucky in Scotland that we already have access to free undergraduate education for Scottish students. However, this is not the case for English students who come to Scotland to study. The Labour Party’s decision means that if they win the next general election, English students in Scotland will still have to pay fees. Our education system is built on the principle that life-long education should be accessible to all. I am asking you to endorse this principle with a statement reaffirming Scottish Labour’s commitment to keeping further and higher education free in Scotland, and extending free education to students from across the UK.
NUS Scotland President