The Scottish Higher Education (HE) sector is at a cross-road, with many dangers facing it.
The English HE system is moving towards a privatised undergraduate funding model, and the public funding for undergraduate courses being significantly reduced. This will lead to reductions in the Scottish Block Grant, forcing Scotland to make key decisions on education and what are its key public spending priorities.
Further challenges are presented by the fact that whilst there is a common UK HE system, HE funding is devolved to the home nations. Scottish HEIs are world respected institutions that compete effectively for staff and students on a global scale and it is in Scotland’s interest that Scottish HEIs (SHEIs) remain effective compared to other UK and world HEIs.
Scotland also faces the challenge of being able to educate a significant proportion of its population to degree level, thus allowing it to develop its knowledge economy and provide graduates with the necessary knowledge, training and skills to prosper within a modern society.
This paper outlines the main dangers facing the Scottish HE system; it’s HEIs, students and staff, and suggests policies to mitigate these dangers.