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FREE UNIVERSITY TUITION MEANS AVERAGE STUDENT DEBT IN SCOTLAND IS LESS THAN A THIRD OF ENGLAND'S

Following the introduction of university tuition fees by Labour in 1998, successive Labour, Coalition and Tory governments have saddled young people with extraordinary levels of debt.


Fresh data, released by the Student Loans Company, reveals the extent of the student debt crisis in England and Wales.


Average student debts in England have reached £44,940 – three times higher than the £14,850 in Scotland. In Wales it’s £33,830.


Annual tuition fees are now £9,250 a year under the Tories in England and £9,000 a year under Labour in Wales.


The SNP Government abolished tuition fees within months of coming to office in 2007, leading to much lower levels of student debt in Scotland.


Patricia Gibson MP said:


“Labour, the Tories and Lib Dems in office have all failed young people by hiking up university tuition fees and landing graduates with eye watering levels of debt.


“Students in Tory-run England and Labour-run Wales have been subjected to broken promises from UK parties who, instead of abolishing tuition fees have bumped them up, making it harder for students, especially from the most deprived backgrounds, to progress into higher education.


“An educated population is good for society, the economy, and the individuals themselves.


“It’s therefore shameful to saddle students with debt just as they begin their careers.


“I’m heartened that the SNP Government continues to recognise the benefit of giving young people equal access and opportunities to higher education.


“The SNP will always stand by our commitment to free education, which has left graduates in Scotland tens of thousands of pounds better off as a result.”


ENDS



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