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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 July 2006, 23:39 GMT 00:39 UK
SNP makes 'free education' pledge
Students at a degree ceremony
Nicola Sturgeon said young people were held back by student debt
The SNP will pledge a return to free university education as part of its election campaign drive next year.

The party will say a 100m package for students will mean an end to the graduate endowment fee.

Student loans would also be abolished and there would be a return to the system of grants, the SNP will say.

Deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon will deliver a keynote speech this week on the policies a Nationalist government would deliver if elected next May.

'Backdoor tuition fee'

She claims that current education policies are holding back the country's younger generation.

Ms Sturgeon said: "This package will get rid of the graduate endowment, the backdoor tuition fee, to make university education free again.

"It will also abolish student loans and replace them with grants and it will allow for the write-off of the existing graduate debt from student loans that holds so many young people back from taking entrepreneurial risks and getting on the housing ladder.

"The SNP is determined to create a generation that is independent of mind, confident and forward-looking."


SEE ALSO
MSPs vote for university fee rise
15 Jun 06 |  Scotland
Student 'fee factor' played down
17 Feb 05 |  Scotland
Funding plea over top-up fees
08 Jan 04 |  Scotland

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