Those of the population who are over a certain age group will remember the times when there wasn’t a fee to attend university within the UK and Wales. Scotland still have a system for their native citizens (those that were born and have lived in Scotland for their whole lives) which means that they can attend university without paying fees. However, if a perspective student from the UK or Wales applied to study in Scotland they would still have to pay the tuition fees.
All students must start at an Undergraduate Degree level. The full time Undergraduate Degrees are normally about 3 to 4 years (depending on the subject, some have a sandwich year e.g. medical profession field can take up to 6 years). The fees per year are normally approximately £9000. That means the students are coming out with debts of £54,000 (if they are studying to become a doctor within the health care system). Those that are doing the standard degrees are coming out with £27,000 to £36,000 worth of debt before they even start their career. Students do not have to pay this debt back until they are earning over £21,000 a year at 9% of anything that they earn over that figure. Most of the time, unless the students happen to end up in higher up professional jobs, the students will never have to pay back their tuition/maintenance loans. This isn’t even taking into account the fees associated with Masters and PhD Degrees.
This has put many talented students with much potential off studying in Higher Education. The Scottish system is much more appropriate than the UK system. Disadvantaged students used to be given grants for maintenance (living expenses at University) and tuition grants. However, circumstances of backgrounds are no longer taken into consideration after they were scrapped.
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