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Friday, 29 September, 2000, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Exams fiasco 'costing millions'
Sam Galbraith on Failing the Test
Mr Galbraith pledged that no student would lose out
Scotland's universities have warned that the exam results fiasco could cost them millions of pounds.

As the crisis developed over the summer, Education Minister Sam Galbraith pledged that no student would lose out because extra places would be funded.

However, university principals have told the Scottish Parliament's lifelong learning committee that they have been left footing the bill because the places are not fully funded.

MSPs are investigating failures at the Scottish Qualifications Authority that led to thousands of Scottish school pupils being given late, incomplete and incorrect results.

Glasgow University sign
Universities fear they are losing out
Problems with the Higher and Certificate of Sixth Year Studies exam results meant that many Scottish students were hampered in getting approval for a place at university.

Although a number of universities said they would accept students before their results were confirmed, there were inevitable delays for pupils entering the clearing process.

To stem fears that some would miss out entirely, Mr Galbraith assured worried parents and pupils that extra places would be provided.

However, in written evidence to the lifelong learning committee, university principals have pointed out gaps in the funding of places.

Instead of receiving around 5,000 per student, they will be granted just 1,000 - leaving them to foot a bill of up to 4m a year.

SQA staff
The SQA has been blamed for the fiasco
And although there may be room for creating extra places in most subjects, MSPs also heard that there will be no extra places for those wanting to study medicine.

Professor Joan Stringer, of the Committee of Scottish Higher Education Principals, said that applications from English pupils to study in Scotland had dropped by 15%.

Although there was no evidence this was linked to problems at the Scottish Qualifications Authority, she said the fiasco had not helped the reputation of Scottish education.


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27 Sep 00 | Scotland
06 Sep 00 | Scotland
06 Sep 00 | Scotland
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