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Higher Education in Scotland and the UKDiverging or Converging Systems?$
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Sheila Riddell, Elisabet Weedon, and Sarah Minty

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781474404587

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474404587.001.0001

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Young People’s Attitudes towards Student Debt in Scotland and England

Young People’s Attitudes towards Student Debt in Scotland and England

(p.56) 4 Young People’s Attitudes towards Student Debt in Scotland and England
Higher Education in Scotland and the UK

Sarah Minty

Edinburgh University Press

Whilst participation rates in higher education have increased rapidly since the 1960s, the most selective universities across the UK continue to be dominated by young people from the most socially advantaged backgrounds (Raffe and Croxford, 2015). Successive Scottish and UK Governments have stressed the need for increased participation in higher education, but have also emphasised the need for fairer access. Since 1997 there has been a growing expectation that students and their families will make a significant contribution to the cost of higher education by shouldering part of the burden of tuition fees and living expenses. This policy has led to anxiety that students from poorer backgrounds, who may be deterred from accepting a university place. However, we know very little about Scottish young people’s views of this important issue, and whether their views are distinctively different from those of young people living in England. This chapter gives an overview of the literature on UK attitudes to tuition fees and student debt. It then draw on interviews with young people in Scotland and England to explore views of fees regimes in different parts of the UK, contrasting the attitudes and awareness of those from more and less socially advantaged backgrounds.

Keywords:   Student finance, young people, higher education, widening participation, Scotland, England

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