Alex Salmond told MSPs the funding crisis facing universities required a "uniquely Scottish solution" during first minister's questions on 28 October 2010.
The first minister said there would be an all party summit on university funding on the 15th of November with a green paper on the issue by the end of the year.
Mr Salmond was responding to Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie, who had asked if he agreed with Universities Scotland who have called for a graduate contribution.
Ms Goldie said listening to the first minister was like listening to "some latter-day Nero strumming out Gaudeamus igitur on his fiddle while tongues of flame reach out to our universities."
Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray earlier accused the SNP administration of cutting 3,000 teaching posts "in the good times" and leaving young graduates fighting for available jobs.
First Minister Alex Salmond accepted that teachers faced a "difficult situation" trying to find jobs, but said it was in Labour local authorities where two thirds of the teacher numbers decline had taken place.
Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Tavish Scott said the number of non frontline staff in the NHS earning more than £50,000 had increased dramatically under the Mr Salmond and was now three times higher than when the SNP came into government.
The first minister hit back saying there were more people working in the NHS now than in 2007 and public satisfaction with the health service was at a high in Scotland.
Alex Salmond also fielded a number of questions on the future of RAF bases in Moray and the impact closure could have on the area.
A ministerial statement on the issue was scheduled for later in the afternoon.