Last month, after winning £23m in college bursary funding and extra places in the Scottish Budget through our Budget for Bursaries campaign, NUS Scotland launched Reclaim Your Voice.
This campaign, which includes a national march and demonstration at the Scottish Parliament on 22 March, asks MSP candidates in this May's Parliamentary elections to make three commitments:
- No tuition fees
- Protect college places and graduate numbers
- Increase student support
Three weeks and 9000 activists later, the Reclaim Your Voice campaign is already having an huge impact, as Scottish Labour have now come out against fees in Scotland.
NUS Scotland will now be working to get the rest of the parties in Scotland to rule out fees and commit to students.
Responding to Scottish Labour’s commitment to rule out fees in Scotland, Liam Burns, President of NUS Scotland, said:
“This is great news for students. Scottish Labour deserve great credit for ruling out fees of any kind for students, and this is testament to the hard work of students across Scotland. Increasingly parties are coming down on the right side of this debate. We know that fees would put off the poorest students in Scotland from ever going to university, making education more about money than about ability. This would go completely against our history and our approach to education.
“Earlier this week, the funding gap for universities in Scotland was laid bare. While there is a gap, it’s much lower than feared, and despite what university leaders say, certainly manageable without fees. Scottish Labour clearly agree, and have now removed the threat of fees from over the heads of students in Scotland. We are working with all other parties to do the same and are hopeful we’ll have all parties committing to students before the election in May.
“Scottish students care about this election. We launched our Reclaim Your Voice campaign only a few weeks ago and we already have 9000 active students, looking ahead and mobilising for the elections in May.
“The election in May is an opportunity to show that the Scottish Parliament is different to Westminster, and to show that Scotland will choose a different way to the savage spending cuts and the trebling of fees we’ve seen south of the border. We will now work with all parties to ask them to commit to ruling out fees, protecting graduate numbers and improving student support, making sure education is something Scotland can continue to be proud of.”