SNP proposals could cost Glasgow nearly £30m a year if passed

Come on Mhairi, sort it out

Furious uni officials have criticised SNP plans to make universities into public bodies, claiming the switch could cost Glasgow as much as £28.7m a year in funding. 

By making unis public bodies, Scotland’s governing party would put the charitable status of some of Scotland’s oldest and esteemed higher education bodies under threat.

The news has not gone down well with universities, with many claiming the Higher Education Governance Bill would cause huge financial difficulties.

Nicola Sturgeon's party want universities to lose their charitable status

Nicola Sturgeon’s party want universities to lose their charitable status

An official from the University of Glasgow told The Independent: “The proposals would have a dramatic and harmful effect on universities’ financial management”.

Meanwhile, the University of Aberdeen said: “Our charitable status is of fundamental importance to our ability to attract funding and philanthropic support”.

Charitable donations make up a major proportion of funding for Scottish universities and opposition to the bill claims it would lead to huge levels of government intervention.

One opponent of the bill, Conservative MSP Liz Smith, said: “If the Scottish Government does not abandon these proposals, which would change the whole structure of higher education, they will put in jeopardy the ability of universities to retain world class status.”

A government spokesperson has said they remain confident the charitable status of Scotland’s universities will remain secure should legislation be passed.

The bill will continue to be debated over the coming weeks.