Scottish Conservatives U-turn to back free university tuition fees

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The Scottish Conservatives have announced they will back free tuition fees for university students at the next Scottish election. 

This comes after Douglas Ross confirmed that changes in their policies to back fee tuition fees at the Young Conservatives Fringe event at the UK party conference.

The U-turn comes after saying coronavirus has changed the debate, as it has affected the education of younger people.

Douglas Ross said: “This group of young people have had their education disrupted like no other.”

“They’re losing out on life-defining experiences and they’re going to be entering the job market at the most difficult time.”

“We cannot burden them any further. So now is the time for the Scottish Conservatives to re-think our policy on introducing tuition fees and a graduate contribution.

“Our manifesto will support free tuition for university students, while calling for college places to be viewed as equally valuable.”

Welcoming the backing up the Scottish Tories supporting free tuition fees Matt Crilly, NUS President for Scotland said: “Today’s announcement from the Scottish Conservatives is a victory for students and prospective students across Scotland with all the main parties committing their support to free tuition.

“Education is a right, not a privilege and must be freely accessible to all regardless of your class or income. Now more than ever before we can see the importance of our education system as people re-train and re-skill, education is our route to a better future. We hope to see all political parties make this a priority ahead of the election next year.

“We can’t lose sight of the fact that internationals, postgraduates and students from the rest of the UK are still paying exorbitant fees. We also must ensure that every student has the support they need to remain, and succeed, once they get there. We need to see an ongoing commitment from all parties to reform the cost-of-living support system for students in Scotland to ensure it is fit for purpose in this time of crisis.”

Image credit: Scottish Conservatives

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