Cubie says Labour has barred students
WHO IS responsible for elitism in education? A withering answer to that question was provided by lawyer Andrew Cubie, the man the Scottish Executive put in charge of its report into student finance. Cubie attacked the Scottish Executive last weekend for watering down his recommendations.
Cubie said upfront tuition fees should be dropped but students should begin to pay back towards the cost of their education once they began earning 25,000 or more. The Scottish Executive introduced some of his scheme but cut the repayment threshold to just 10,000.
Now Cubie says, "To make people start their repayments once they earn 10,000-well below the average-destroys the link between payment and reward. "We were determined to take account of the need to increase social diversity in education, and our research showed one of the greatest barriers to participation was the fear of debt, both on the part of students and parents." Labour's policy on fees and grants is one of its most unpopular measures, which is alienating its traditional supporters.