Outrage over student fees escalated this week as Edinburgh University announced plans that would make it the most expensive place to study in the UK.
Edinburgh University announced that it will charge pound;36,000 for a degree after deciding to set the maximum pound;9,000 levy for all four years of the Scottish qualification.
The announcement on Monday follows decisions by Aberdeen and Heriot-Watt to limit fees to pound;27,000 by making the final year free, keeping costs in line with other UK universities. Glasgow Caledonian University is to cap its fees at pound;21,000.
Defending its decision, which affects students from the rest of the UK (RUK), Edinburgh University said it was also offering the most generous bursaries in the UK for poor students.
But student leaders were appalled by the move and opposition politicians feared students would be "priced out" of an education.
Graeme Kirkpatrick, depute president of NUS Scotland, said: "The average cost to study at Oxford and Cambridge is around pound;25,000 in fees, which, while still eye-wateringly large, pales in comparison with this."
Scottish universities are setting new RUK fees after the Scottish Government removed funding for RUK students, following fee changes by Westminster.
Fees cannot be confirmed until the Scottish Parliament approves the Scottish Government's proposals.
A Scottish Government spokesman urged universities to "bear in mind" the need to be competitive and attractive to students.
Julia Horton, firstname.lastname@example.org.