YouGov’s daily poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 40%, LDEM 11% – it’s a lower lead for Labour than we’ve seen in YouGov’s recent polls, but I’ll just leave that with my normal caveats about not reading too much into a single poll. It may be Labour’s increased hackgate lead receeding… or it may just be margin of error, and we’ll find Labour’s lead back to around 8 points tomorrow.

There is not much change from last week in how the political leaders are perceived as having responded to the riots – 45% think Cameron has responded well, 49% badly (from 45% to 49% last week), 42% think Miliband has responded well, 41% badly (from 40% to 40% last week). The standard leadership ratings for Cameron and Miliband remain largely unchanged too.

Most of the questions are still riot related – Almost half (48%) of people think the sentences for rioters are about right, with the remainder more likely to think they are too soft (31%) than too harsh (14%). On the specific case of the two men given 4 years a piece for failing to incite riots through Facebook, 32% think the sentences were too harsh, but 50% think they were right and 13% too soft.

Looking at further measures that have been suggested, 95% would support making those involved help repair the damaged caused, 81% would support naming and shaming those under 18s convicted, 81% would support making those convicted apologise to their victims. 68% would support stopping the welfare benefits of those convicted. On the question of evicting people who are convicted of rioting from council accommodation, 62% of people would support evicting tenants themselves if they involved in the riots, but this drops to only 34% when asked about evicting families whose children were involved in the riots.

Looking at longer term responses to the riots, 56% of people would support the re-introduction of national service, with 32% opposed (there is a strong correlation with age here, two-third of over 60s would support it, under 25s are marginally opposed to it). A national citizen service, requiring compulsory community work for all young people, is more popular – 77% would support it with only 14% opposed. There is less support for the government promoting marriage in the tax and benefit system – 39% think it should, 48% think it should not be the government’s place to promote marriage.

Moving to the topic of tuition fees, only 29% of people think that a university education is worth £9000 a year. However, they are evenly split on whether this means people will be better or worse off financially from going to university. 40% think graduates will still be better off as increased salaries will outweigh the costs of going to university, 42% think graduates will end up worse off.

Finally, on trains 79% of people think current fares represent bad value for money. 47% think the government should maintain rail subsidies, even if this means larger cuts elsewhere. 24% think that the government is right to cut subsidies.

Full tabs are here.


157 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 36, LAB 40, LDEM 11”

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  1. @ John B Dick

    The SNP can’t lose.

    If they are right, Scottish voters will admire their “knavish tricks”, and vote for them.

    If they are wrong, and are forced to introduce fees for Scottish students, then they may have an opportunity to mention the potential advantages of independence.
    ——————————————-
    Of course the SNP can lose from this.

    The directive is from Europe, is it not? the Europe of which the SNP are thorough-going admirers – independence within Europe is almost their mantra.

    Had they refrained from ‘discriminating’ against English (& presumably Welsh) students, this issue might never have come to the fore.

    ‘We (the SNP) played a knavish trick & your kids will be paying £9k a year for it, until you reward our ‘bad’ behaviour by voting for independence’. Labour will shred that like wet toilet paper. If we don’t. Stuart is correct & there’s no hope for us at Holyrood!
    8-)

  2. I think the EU want to be getting oil from Libya before the next Israel war which could happen any time soon.

  3. @STUART DICKSON

    Interesting on the Uni fees. Since when was a university degree a human right? It seems that the students in question have enough money for legal assistance though.

  4. @ Roger Mexico

    From the Guardian: This pretty much sums up why people may think the Coalition’s intervention in Libya is going badly:

    “Regardless of whether Muammar Gaddafi is ousted in coming days, the war against Libya has seen countless violations of United Nations security council resolutions (UNSCRs) by Nato and UN member states. The funnelling of weapons (now being air-dropped) to Libyan rebels was, from the beginning of the conflict, in clear violation of UNSCR 1970. The use of military force on behalf of the rebels, in an attempt to impose regime change, has undermined international law and damaged the credibility of the United Nations. Countless innocent civilians have been killed, and Nato air strikes continue to place many at great risk.

    So much for the humanitarian-inspired UNSCR 1973 as a means to protect civilians. The people of Libya cannot take another month of such humanitarian intervention.”
    ——————————————————-
    The above summarises the sentiments of many; others believe it’s going badly because it is costing a great deal of money & what will be the outcome? Whatever credibility the UN & International courts had will be destroyed!
    8-)

  5. Amber

    “Had they refrained from ‘discriminating’ against English (& presumably Welsh) students, this issue might never have come to the fore.”

    So your preference is for Scottish Universities to charge £9,000 a year for everyone?

  6. Amber

    It would be interesting to see polling on whether GB voters think that UK and others instituting regime change in Libya was a good idea, and whether the UK Government lied to them by insisting that they were only going in to prevent civilian casualties.

  7. @ Old Nat

    It would be interesting to see polling on whether GB voters think that UK and others instituting regime change in Libya was a good idea, and whether the UK Government lied to them by insisting that they were only going in to prevent civilian casualties.
    ———————————————
    Yes, it would. And I think perhaps there is a trace of irony in your comment. It would be sad, if nothing has been learned from past errors.

    Given the LD’s sustained pressure on Labour during & after the Iraq disaster, it’s rather sad that the Coalition Dems are all in favour of this war in Libya. It makes their stance on Iraq appear partisan & opportunistic, IMO.

    The ‘trick’ it seems is to obtain a UNSCR which lays out very specific conditions then flout them, whilst continuing to say: “This is okay because we have a mandate”. It’s small wonder that Scotland’s voters have abandoned them.
    8-)

  8. @ Old Nat

    So your preference is for Scottish Universities to charge £9,000 a year for everyone?
    ——————————————
    You know my preference is for no fees at all. Graduate tax or general taxation should pay for all Uk students.
    8-)

  9. @ Colin: When we [Brain] Dead Awaken [H. Ibsen]
    Me. “Their “brain activity” apparently does not encompass political consistency or any notion of how such a billions-costing national service would be financed.”
    Colin. £60m over two years I think- 11,000 teenagers involved in twelve pilots this year, and 30,000 in 2012.

    You are referring to DC’s pet Big-Society-derived [yawn]scheme for short community projects for teenage volunteers (not conscripts). The scheme that was criticised by even the Tory-chaired education H of C sub-committee as poor value & which was condemned by the various heads of youth services because it starving the existing youth provision of its core funding. There are 8 million teenagers in Britian. If only, say, 1.5 million were compelled to do a serious programme of Community Service at any one time, then the cost would indeed run to billions, leaving aside the cost of coercing the unwilling. The costs of serious military training, as recommended by the YOUGOV respondents, would be unthinkable. As I said if pollsters ask a silly question, they get a silly answer.

  10. Amber

    “Graduate tax or general taxation should pay for all Uk students.”

    But the UK Government (wearing its English hat) decided to go for £9,000 fees. Under these circumstances, should the devolved administrations just said “Yes, sir! Mr Cameron, sir! We’ll do the same”? so that there was a single UK system?

  11. Amber

    Like it or not, as I keep pointing out to the point of tedium, public opinion on Libya is about as non-Party political as you can get. All three Parties are split about it and have been since the start. Labour has been divided more towards opposition, but how much of this is partisan (against just because it’s by the Coalition) as opposed to being against the action itself is difficult to say. It would only take 10%-15% of Labour voters to act that way (certainly many more are against in questions when Cameron is mentioned).

    Most people simply don’t see it as a Party matter, they agree or disagree because of what they feel as individuals and I think you do them a disservice by implying otherwise. Unless they personally demonstrate incompetence Cameron and the coalition won’t get much of a boost from ‘success’ or a drop from ‘failure’.

    Though if he appears in a flight suit saying ‘Mission Accomplished’ all bets are off.

  12. @ Amber (8.35 pm)
    “Given the LD’s sustained pressure on Labour during & after the Iraq disaster, it’s rather sad that the Coalition Dems are all in favour of this war in Libya. It makes their stance on Iraq appear partisan & opportunistic, IMO.”

    Amber,
    How can you compare Iraq and Libya. Your ex- leader Blair told this country a deliberate lie. There were no WMDs. Also there was no uprising by the Iraqi people. There was no support for intervention beyond Blair and Bush. These were perfectly good reasons for the LDs to speak out against Blair. I was present at the protest against Blair and Bush when Bush visited Sedgefield and was proud to speak out against an unjust war.

    Conversely, in Libya the people rose up against Gadaffi. He was about to massacre thousands of his own people in Benghazi ( I have told you before that I would hate to be in the position of the Dutch after Srebrenica and Benghazi would have been at least 10 times worse – Gadaffi said so in as many words). The Arab League asked for support and I am pleased that 30 – 40 countries have supplied it.

    Thus the situation is totally different as you well know.

    IMO if the poll had asked the question “should we be prepared to let thousands die rather than support the oposition in Libya” the results would have been totally different. As with all polls the results depend upon the questions asked.

    PS I would be interested to see your source for the info re dropping of weapons – news to me.

  13. @ Amber and Old Nat

    Whilst I am a Labour supporter, I think for SLAB to pin the blame, if we are forced to charge 9,000 for students on anyone other than the coalition would be a huge mistake. It was not a “knavish trick” to charge English and Welsh students this, had they not done so then basically Scottish students would have found themselves at a vast material disadvantage in getting places at Scottish Universities vis-a-vis English stundents who would apply en masse for courses in scottish Universities, if no fees were in place..

    The root problem here is the disgusting level of charges imposed by the Westminster government. It would be folly of SLAB to try and pin this on the NATs – and would be a vast vote loser. The majority of Scots would not get why the SNP’s attempts to protect Scottish students were wrong at all.

    We should actually unite North of the Border on this one, and pin the blame where it and every other wrong committed by this government belongs – and that is on Clegg and the LIBDEMs!! – oh yes and the Tories.

    As regards Libya – the clear flouting of International Law and the UN Resolution by NATO is incredibly serious. We are replacing rule of Law with Force Majeure. Few, if any, will weep for Gaddafi’s downfall.

    The wider ramifications may, however, take decades to unfold. The real loser here is the UN itself. Virtually no resolution on any matter will now be sanctioned by either Russia or China following this. In essence we now have no legal means of directing military action in future conflicts and the breakdown of trust implied here makes us all more vulnerable.

  14. Iceman
    “The real loser here is the UN itself. Virtually no resolution on any matter will now be sanctioned by either Russia or China following this. In essence we now have no legal means of directing military action in future conflicts and the breakdown of trust implied here makes us all more vulnerable.”

    That has been my concern since the beginning of this campaign, when it was clear that the real purpose was regime change. Following on from Afghanistan and Iraq, it seems unlikely that the East will ever support a Western resolution on such matters again.

    Taking a Utilitarian view ofit, it seems likely that the consequence will be that thousands more will die in future conflicts than have been saved in Libya.

  15. I’m confused about the Scottish university fee thing. What have the SNP got to do with it either way? The principle of charging tuition fees was introduced by a (Westminster) Labour government. The principle of not charging them in Scotland was introduced by a Labour-Lib Dem Coalition. Has the SNP changed the way things are operated and so breached EU law in a way it wasn’t before?

  16. @Peter Bell – “… info re dropping of weapons – news to me.”

    No doubt Amber Star will reply to your post, but may I say you seem a long way behind the curvre. According to this article the French air drops began early in June.

    And,

    “British officials told the Financial Times that they had been aware for some weeks of France’s decision to supply the rebels in the Jebel Nafusa with arms.

    “I am surprised the French have gone public on this,” an official said.”

    h
    ttp://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5789910c-a270-11e0-9760-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1VhV4uQsN

  17. Roger Mexico

    “I’m confused about the Scottish university fee thing.”

    If I didn’t know that you are very well informed, and sometimes pose tongue-in-cheek questions, I might have been tempted to answer you! :-)

  18. @ RobbieAlive.

    The National Service thing is a classic example of why we elect politicians to save us from our own bloody stupidity.

    In terms of cost, going back to a 1950s style NS, with attendees living away from home, I struggle to see how you could do that for less than £10k per head.

    Now. Assume that we went for the 2 year NS that my dad’s generation did.. According to ONS estimates, there are currently ~1.6million 18-19 year olds in the UK. So you’re looking at running costs of ~£15-20billion per year.

    Not to mention the capital costs of accommodation and training of the trainers (given that we don’t have the 1950s surplus of barracks and ex-Army staff).

    Then there’s the dislocation to our HE sector which is already going through a once-in-a-century revolution and which would lose either under-grad or post-grad intake.

    And there’s the economic shock when 1.6million potential new workers (from minimum-wage school-leaver material to high-quality graduates) are removed from the labour pool.

    Of course, you could water it down. By making it optional and non-residential for example. That sort of training would teach the feral rioters a lesson, eh?

  19. @ Peter Bell

    PS I would be interested to see your source for the info re dropping of weapons – news to me.
    ——————————–
    Guardian, BBC, US congressman, Sarkozy has admitted the French are doing it… just google & you’ll find more sources than you could ever want.

    Nick Clegg hasn’t said one word about it… changed days from when it was Labour who were indulging in regime change under the cover of a convenient excuse. Nick Clegg couldn’t stop talking about it.
    8-)

  20. SOCALIBERAL

    If you’re on later:-

    Al Jazeera showing reporters in Tripoli with scenes of jubilation & general uprising.

    Gaddafi’s guard reportedly surrendered-Gaddaffi whereabouts unknown-but may have been in Algeria for a few days-his son Saif al Islam captured by NTC.

    Progress of NTC fighters today simply stunning-reportedly little resistance within the capital.

    Looks like End Game-please god low casualties.

    Off to bed now.

  21. @ Old Nat

    But the UK Government (wearing its English hat) decided to go for £9,000 fees. Under these circumstances, should the devolved administrations just said “Yes, sir! Mr Cameron, sir! We’ll do the same”? so that there was a single UK system?
    —————————————
    No, they didn’t need to do that, as you know well. The Universities can charge whatever they like; indeed it was said at the time that the ‘average’ in England was expected to be about £6k. So £9k hasn’t been forced upon Scottish Universities by an English government.
    8-)

  22. Amber

    “it was said at the time that the ‘average’ in England was expected to be about £6k.”

    And you believed that?

  23. Re: the UN – the idea of legal and illegal military action has always been a bit bonkers, the sort of concept that was bound to collapse at some point. A great deal of international law needs overhauling. It’s either ineffective (the Convention of Human Rights, for example) or just outdated and inappropriate for 21st Century conditions.

    I don’t think we should have got involved in Libya but that’s because I’m inclined to leave the outside world to its own devices, for better or for worse. The legality or illegality of such action is of no concern to me at all.

  24. @ Old Nat

    @RobbieAlive

    “How very odd that none of the SNP posters have responded to your point.”

    I don’t know about others, but I have no information on which policies in Edinburgh Amber is referring to. In any case, This isn’t the place for debating these>
    —————————————————–

    Why not? This seems to be a place where lots of stuff gets debated. That’s one of the things I love about this site. 8-)

    [No, this is specifically NOT a place for political debate – take it outside – AW]

  25. Valerie

    “This seems to be a place where lots of stuff gets debated.”

    Yes, but Anthony prefers stuff with an evidential base – preferably related to polling.

    We just had a real poll in Edinburgh. If I understood her aright, she was suggesting that 154 of those who Labour had attracted by Stage 4 of the vote transfer (and they could all have been transfers to Labour from Greens, for all we know) preferred to transfer their vote to the Tories!!! instead of the SNP because of privatisation plans.

    I have genuine respect for Amber – but on this one? Per-leeze!

  26. @ Colin

    “If you’re on later:-

    Al Jazeera showing reporters in Tripoli with scenes of jubilation & general uprising.

    Gaddafi’s guard reportedly surrendered-Gaddaffi whereabouts unknown-but may have been in Algeria for a few days-his son Saif al Islam captured by NTC.

    Progress of NTC fighters today simply stunning-reportedly little resistance within the capital.

    Looks like End Game-please god low casualties.

    Off to bed now.”

    I’m hearing this too. I heard that one of his sons has been arrested. I think this may be the end game but I’m not sure what will happen in Sirte. Also, was Ghadaffi’s guard the 40 special trained virgin group? They didn’t seem like the type to surrender without resistance.

    Very few revolutions that start out in the name of bringing self-determination and individual rights and freedoms rarely work out well. So many revolutions wind up, after a long period of violence, disruption, and disorder, returning things back to the status quo. See e.g., the English Revolution, the 1789 French Revolution, the 2004 Orange Revolution, the 1823 Mexican Revolution, the 1959 Cuban Revolution, the original 1979 Iranian Revolution, the 1952 Egyptian Revolution, the March 1917 Russian Revolution….I could go on.

    I love what the Sky News reporter said: “This is the biggest party Tripoli has ever seen!” I’m watching clips of celebrations as people pour out on the streets.

    The reporter said it was peaceful. This is a good thing. But I would hope people would stop firing their guns up in the air. That WILL cause casualties…unneeded and unneccessary casualties. I doubt any English people fired their guns up in the air to celebrate the Glorious Revolution.

  27. Gadaffi’s eldest son Mohammed has surrendered according to Al Jazera I believe that this is the second son which has surrendered/been captured. It seems that there has been little/ no opposition and therefore few fatalities thank God. The Tripoli population seems to have come out in support of the opposition and listening to BBC news currently a lady is saying that opposition has been building up in secret for some time. The key need now is to ensure that no retribution is enacted on Gadaffi’s supporters.

  28. SoCalLiberal

    “I doubt any English people fired their guns up in the air to celebrate the Glorious Revolution.”

    But they do set off explosives and fire them into the air every November to celebrate the execution of Guy Fawkes! :-)

  29. @ OldNat.

    Even as a 10 year old, I found it encouraging for the future of the UK that my (Catholic) primary school made a point of having a big Bonfire Night party.

    I once asked the nun-headteacher what she thought of celebrating the burning of a Catholic traitor. She told me to “be quiet or I’ll slipper your tail-end”.

    Them were the days of discipline…

  30. @ Peter Bell

    “Gadaffi’s eldest son Mohammed has surrendered according to Al Jazera I believe that this is the second son which has surrendered/been captured. It seems that there has been little/ no opposition and therefore few fatalities thank God. The Tripoli population seems to have come out in support of the opposition and listening to BBC news currently a lady is saying that opposition has been building up in secret for some time. The key need now is to ensure that no retribution is enacted on Gadaffi’s supporters.”

    I kinda had a feeling this would happen. I do think there might be a great deal of retribution. I hope not but we’ll see.

    @ Old Nat

    “But they do set off explosives and fire them into the air every November to celebrate the execution of Guy Fawkes!”

    Who was Guy Fawkes? Shooting fireworks up into the air is fine. I love them. In fact, I only like to go to the Hollywood Bowl when there are fireworks nights. They’re very few of those nights now because of the firecode and the need to have so many firefighters on standby.

    Shooting guns up in the air is a big no-no. For some reason, around these parts, people used to do it to bring in the New Year…..lots of random bystanders would get killed.

  31. SoCalLiberal

    Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes

  32. OldNat

    That was a genuine question! I honestly don’t know and I’m fed up of looking things up. While my comment may or may not have have contained pre-set ironies I was unaware what the trigger was.

    Colin

    You tell us that AND THEN YOU CAN GO TO BED.

    Looks like Zuma may have been organising Gaddafi’s exit strategy but it is claimed that two of his sons have been arrested.

    Why do I always forget how good al Jazeera is?

  33. @ Old Nat

    “Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament”

    Osama Bin Laden tried to blow up our Parliament (Congress) and failed. We celebrate his execution and we’re tarred by Europeans and some Brits as bloodthirsty monsters. You celebrate Guy Fawkes Day and no one says a word. Forgive me for asking what the difference is?

    @ Roger Mexico

    “You tell us that AND THEN YOU CAN GO TO BED.

    Looks like Zuma may have been organising Gaddafi’s exit strategy but it is claimed that two of his sons have been arrested.”

    1. This is why I never go to bed on election night. I like to wait and see until the very last precinct is reported (and that can take a while….4 weeks in CA) and disect the results even after a race has been called. I couldn’t imagine how I would fare if I was British. I’d never sleep. If you go to bed at 1 or 2 am in the UK, only a few results will be in, some of the early reporting constituencies still won’t have reported.

    2. IMO, Jacob Zuma doesn’t seem particularly smart. His country voted at the UN Security Council opposite from his public position. Was he just not aware or was he doing his best Marion Berry imitation?

  34. Amber

    “We are furious with the SNP councillors because they are voting with the LibDems to privatise council services despite claiming to be a left of center party.”

    Privatisation done by real on-the-spot managers to gain efficiencies of scale are to be encouraged. Doctrinaire privatisation imposed by central government decree demotivates staff provides a poorer service and adds additional costs.

    I don’t know anything about Edinbugh, but every party has lazy and stupid councillors who believe what they are told without challenging spurious data manipulated to produce the desired result, and if consultants are asked to show HOW privatisation COULD save money, that’s exactly what they will do.

    Whether it will in the real world is another matter.

    I’d quibble not about whether the SNP is a left of centre party (I take my view on that from Scottish Voting Compass) but where exactly do you think the centre is in Scotland? Is it the UK centre that you mean, and are the Scottish Conservatives centre-left?

    Have you done the test and found that like many people who used to vote Labour, you are somewhere between the SNP and the Greens?

    I am, and so is someone I know well whose picture and words appeared on election literature in the last election.

    Another way of looking at it is that if you get 44% of the vote, you must be centre-centre as far as the population of Scotland is concerned.

  35. Watching Sky at the moment and it seems unbelievable the number of Libyans celebrating in Green Square, Tripoli.
    IMO confirms the opinion of NATO countries et al that the vast majority of the countries population had no time for Gaddafi.

  36. Roger Mexico

    The only difference between tuition fees for Scottish Universities now, compared to previously, is that the UK/English Government has cut public funding for their Universities and increased tuition fees.

    That has Barnett consequentials for the devolved administrations who, consequently, recieve less funding. The position of EU students remains unchanged (though the Scottish government is seeking a change to this, and/or finding a way to impose some charges).

    The Scottish Government is simply allowing Scottish Universities to charge students from elsewhere in the UK up to the £9,000 pa that they would have to pay if they went to a University in England.

    I can’t see what the fuss is about.

  37. Peter Bell

    Though if you lived in Tripoli, who would you have turned out to express your support for before today, and who would you be doing it for today?

    It might be a bit like elections before the secret ballot was introduced!

  38. If they are attempting what it seems, they are recklessly over ambitious as well as innumerate, credulous and gullible.

  39. John B Dick

    “If they are attempting what it seems, they are recklessly over ambitious as well as innumerate, credulous and gullible.

    That comment could be applied to Con, Lab, LD, SNP, Green ….. on many things! :-) What were you particularly referring to?

  40. OldNat

    This something I know a bit about because the Isle of Man is in a similar position. Although not in the EU, we have to treat all their national similarly: English or Estonian, Scottish or Slovenian. What I wanted to know was (a) are you allowed to treat Scots separately from elsewhere in the EU (including England)? (b) has there been any change in how the Scottish government charges (or not) for university fees?

  41. OldNat

    John B Dick was of course talking about Tynwald.

  42. @ Roger Mexico

    The law of unintended consequences?

    One thing that has changed is that the number of non-UK EU students attending Scottish Universities — who pay no fees — has rocketed in the last decade, as such continental students are getting a free lunch. They are now nearly as numerous as English students attending Scottish Unis. It does seem anomalous that in the EU only English, Welsh, NI students pay fees in Scotland, but then life is full of anomalies.
    The problem for the Scottish government is that the costs of the boom in EU students is very high — an unintended consequence? — & they are seeking to charge such students or restrict the numbers coming. Such a move would presumably open up another legal minefield.

  43. Robbiealive/OldNat

    I there any reason why Scottish universities couldn’t charge fees to all students, but reimburse Scottish students through bursaries (possibly via local government)?

  44. Roger Mexico

    It has always been the case that EU rules always apply to “other” countries in the EU and not to “internal” arrangements. The SNP has changed nothing in this regard.

    The University fee changes are English. The Scottish Government has really only changed the maximum amount that Scottish Universities can charge to other UK students in line with what the UK/English Government has done to their own people,

    RobbieAlive

    “the number of non-UK EU students attending Scottish Universities — who pay no fees — has rocketed in the last decade, as such continental students are getting a free lunch.”

    Just as Scots students attending those Universities in continental Europe who have no tuition fees are getting a “free lunch” too.

    Your narrow nationalism is a tad embarassing.

  45. Roger Mexico

    “Is there any reason why Scottish universities couldn’t charge fees to all students, but reimburse Scottish students through bursaries (possibly via local government)?”

    I don’t know. Though my understanding is that the Scottish Government is exploring with the EU (as are those German Lander, who have also abolished tertiary tuition fees – this isn’t just a UK issue) exactly what levels of public support can be given only to residents, and not to other EU students).

  46. Does anyone know?

    The largest group of EU citizens enjoying free teriary education in Scotkland are Irish. There is a long tradition of people from Northern Ireland attending Scottish Universities.

    Most people from Northern Ireland are entitled to have Irish citizenship. If my kids were from there, I’d certainly be encouraging them to become an Irish citizen (even if I was from a strong Orange background :-) ) if they wanted to go to Uni here.

    How prevalent is that?

  47. OldNat,

    Why wouldn’t they just become a Scottish resident? It’s not like you have to provide a bloodline tracing your ancestry back to the furthest primordial globule in order to have status as Scottish student…

  48. Just chipping in re; Scottish tuition fees.

    First off, I think it’s fantastic – I am from a large, low-income, single-parent family, and I was the first to go to University. Trying to convince my family to let me go to Uni was hard enough with it being free (why waste four years of your life spending money, when you can just get a job? and University isn’t for people like us being some of the more common arguments). I know I wouldn’t be so sure about going to Uni if I was facing £9k pa.

    Outside Edinburgh, and the posher parts of Glasgow, University isn’t as pushed as it is in England, there are massive cultural and social barriers that we are beginning to overcome, and if we have to start thinking about massive debts, then it will push us backwards, and we’ll lose all progress that we’ve fought for, as well as he opportunity to continue the bright, innovative and forward thinking education system Scotland is known for.

    Personally I think that money shouldn’t be an issue for going to University, and if you have the brains, and the drive, you should be allowed, so University should be free. However, I appreciate that not everyone feels the same, and certainly few countries offer free HE, so we are limited in that respect, so whilst we get free HE, we should charge students from other countries that don’t offer free HE, including England, Wales and NI. I also think this should include EU students though, as it is massively unfair to other UK students that they should get in for free, whilst others have to pay.

    The changes in UK HE funding would leave Scotland with a massive funding gap, and we would see our Universities, some of the top in the UK, and some of the oldest in the world (don’t forget, Glasgow University was founded around 50 years before America was discovered…) go into decline, and that’s not to mention the rush of applications from English students for cheaper education. I feel bad for the students (who can clearly afford the legal fees) that are filing for legal action – they’re attacking the wrong target. Scotland wouldn’t have to charge more if the English and Welsh (I exclude the Northern Irish here as thankfully they had the sense to keep fees within achievable means for poorer students) hadn’t raised their fees to £9,000 a year. They want to get free HE? Fine, start campaigning to get your Government or chosen party to support it. Or move to Scotland for a few years. Or maybe more people should start protesting the fact that above £6k was supposed to be in special circumstances, like Oxford or Cambridge, not for every obscure University that barely scrapes it’s way from the depths of the University league tables. The Scottish Government have budgeted for this, to make HE affordable for everyone, it’s not their fault that the other national Governments didn’t prioritise in the same way.

    The one thing I don’t understand is why we haven’t changed funding, so that Scottish students are technically charged tuition fees, but the Government just picks up the bill, meaning that we are free to charge EU and other UK students. I think that until other countries offer free HE, they should be charged for it, so for now, personally, I think we should introduce a tiered system of tuition fees – free for Scottish students, £3,000 or so cap for the Northern Irish (who decided not to raise tuition fees to £9k), £6,000 or so for other UK students, and £9,000 or so for EU students, and then the going rate for internationals.

    The current system isn’t fair – but it’s not the Scottish Government’s fault, who introduced this policy in the matter of fairness. Maybe these students should be looking closer to home as they line up lawyers.

  49. We could just have fees ability-based bursaries, based on passing the following oral exam: correctly pronounce “The thistles grow by the castles and lochs near Milngavie.”

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