A warning that all Scottish universities could suffer if English students stay away to avoid an extra year's tuition fee came this week from a senior principal.
Sir Graeme Davies of Glasgow University, delivering the annual Scottish Council of Independent Schools lecture, said Edinburgh, St Andrews and Stirling were the most vulnerable. "If two of those three universities are forced to recruit more vigorously within Scotland," Sir Graeme said, "there will be a knock-on effect on the others if 10,000 to 15,000 English students have to be replaced."
But in the lecture, held in association with The TES Scotland, Sir Graeme regretted the concentration on funding issues in relation to the "cross-border flow" of students. There were also important social, cultural, economic and educational benefits associated with the traffic.
In a wide-ranging review of Government higher education policy in the wake of the Dearing and Garrick reports, Sir Graeme said he believed the four-year honours degree taken by 70 per cent of Scottish undergraduates would continue to predominate until employers and then students are convinced of the merits of a three-year course.
The Glasgow principal also believed there could be no automatic fast-track entry into university for all students with the new Advanced Higher. Only 10 per cent of four-year honours students in Glasgow entered in their second year and numbers would continue to vary from course to course, Sir Graeme said.
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