New First Minister, same tuition fees
‘A Scotland vigorous and determined in its resolution to tackle inequality’
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s new First Minister is expected to keep university tuition free for Scottish students.
In her first day of office today, she made no specific pledges towards education, but current SNP policy is expected to continue.
Alex Salmond left office by leaving a tonne of rock at Heriot-Watt, which was inscribed with his words from 2011:
“The rocks will melt with the sun before I allow tuition fees to be imposed on Scottish students.”
He also said: “It is without doubt now a commitment writ in stane.”
No shit, Sherlock.
As Sturgeon repeatedly reaffirmed her commitment to free tuition for Scots during the referendum campaign, she will not alter one of the SNP’s flagship policies.
In a BBC debate before the referendum, she said she would: “always protect free education because it is one of the most important things any government can ever protect”.
In her first speech as First Minister, she confirmed that she would continue Salmond’s legacy:
“My daily tasks will be to protect and improve our NHS, support our businesses at home and abroad, ensure that all children get the chance to fulfil their potential, and keep our communities safe from crime.”
Sturgeon’s commitment to free education is particularly strong, as she comes from a working class background and was the SNP’s education spokesperson and shadow minister for many years.
Photo credits: Lesley Donald Photography