The SNP today announced that it intends to widen access to Universities by forcing Universities to accept more students from poorer backgrounds. This seems like another badly thought through publicity stunt from the SNP, there policies are based on good intentions but they don’t always have the means to implement them. An example of this is the SNP’s plan to double spending on childcare despite not being clear where the money is coming from.
Moving back to the original issue of the SNP forcing universities to accept students from poor backgrounds, and sound like they may potentially introduce a dreaded quota. This is flawed policy for several reasons, under Scotland’s policy of free tuition the number of Scottish students being allowed into university is capped. The SNP has not said it would raise this cap, so middle class students with better grades look like they might have to study somewhere in the name of wider access. This policy also ignores the reasons why students from poorer backgrounds fail to get into university, and that is largely down to grades and the reason for the poor grades is poor schools. Rather than fixing the underline problem Nicola Sturgeon has instead chosen to ignore it despite there being a clear problem. 3.9% of students from Scotland’s poorest areas managed to get 3 A’s in their higher exams compared to 24% of students in wealthier areas. Rather than raising the standard of schools in Scotland’s most deprived areas the SNP has instead chosen to just lower the standard of Scotland’s universities which already suffer a funding gap due the Scotland having no tuition fees for Scottish or EU students.
This is a loony left policy that promotes unfairness and tries to solve a real problem by lowering standards rather than fixing the problem. This is the sort off policy that makes people use the saying race to the bottom. It is a policy that sounds nice but if you look at it a little bit you see that it is a seriously unfair policy and a seriously bad policy and it is a policy the SNP need to fix or drop.