Page last updated at 14:45 GMT, Monday, 14 March 2011

Ministerial statement: Higher Education Funding

The Education Secretary Michael Russell confirmed, that if an SNP government is re-elected after the May election, it will increase fees to students from other parts of the United Kingdom for attending Scottish universities.

Michael Russell, also told the Scottish Parliament they would look at charging European Union students in the same way as they do in Ireland, when he delivered a ministerial statement on higher education funding on 16 March 2011.

There, all students are charged a fee but Irish students get help towards these costs based on income.

Mr Russell told MSPs he expected money raised from non-Scottish students could largely close a £93m funding gap between universities in Scotland and England.

He said "there will be no barriers to education in Scotland."

Scotland is facing a possible funding gap due to spending cuts and raised tuition fees south of the border.

On 12 March SNP leader Alex Salmond vowed to keep university education free for Scottish students, if his party wins the Holyrood election in May.

Scottish Labour and the Scottish Liberal Democrats have also both ruled out introducing tuition fees after this year's Holyrood election.

The Scottish Conservatives say that a graduate contribution is inevitable and sensible.

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