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Tuesday, 25 January, 2000, 16:52 GMT
Students reject Cubie deal

Students in lecture theatre Students say the Scottish Executive has "backpedalled"

Students have warned they will not accept the deal reached by the Scottish Executive on tuition fees.

In a letter to MSPs, student leaders from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews universities criticised plans to make graduates begin repayments at an income level below the 25,000 recommended by the Cubie inquiry.

This deal serves politicians but not students
Richard Baker, NUS Scotland
Graeme McAulay, president of Edinburgh University Students Association and spokesman for the Scottish Ancients, accused the executive of "back-pedalling".

He said the lowering of the income threshold below which students will be eligible for maintenance bursaries would be strongly resisted by students, parents and teachers.

"The detailed recommendations as to which students should be eligible for maintenance support and when graduates should be expected to make their contributions to the Endowment Fund have been carefully thought out by the Cubie Committee after months of research and consultation," said Mr McAulay.

Cubie 'spirit'

"Changes such as the ones proposed are not merely a watering-down of the Cubie recommendations but new proposals which go against the whole spirit of the Cubie report.

"Students have accepted that it is fair to ask them to contribute to the funding of maintenance bursaries, but only at a time when they can afford to.

Aberdeen University Students warn of resistance to the package
"We were happy with the Cubie committee's recommendation that graduates should not pay until they earn over 25,000.

"In stark contrast, the government's proposals would force some students to pay back up to 18,000 worth of debt before even earning average income."

The National Union of Students Scotland has also reacted angrily to the deal, saying it will fall "far short" of the 71m package proposed by the Cubie committee.

Student hardship

President Richard Baker said: "A consensus exists to implement the Cubie report. We supported a contribution from wealthy graduates, not a payback scheme from every graduates.

"This deal serves politicians but not students.

"NUS Scotland will continue to campaign for the full implementation of the Cubie report. We are not prepared to compromise further on student hardship."

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See also:
25 Jan 00 |  Scotland
Ministers defend fees deal
25 Jan 00 |  Scotland
Anger at 'shabby' fees deal
25 Jan 00 |  Scotland
Reid fields opposition fees' anger
22 Jan 00 |  Scotland
Europe could rule on fees plan

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