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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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Devolution and Higher Education Policy: Negotiating UK and International Boundaries

Devolution and Higher Education Policy: Negotiating UK and International Boundaries

(p.141) 9 Devolution and Higher Education Policy: Negotiating UK and International Boundaries
Higher Education in Scotland and the UK

Sheila Riddell

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter begins by summarising the central findings, before discussing cross-cutting themes emerging from the analysis. The first over-arching theme concerns the implicit and explicit understandings of social justice informing higher education policy in Scotland and England, and the extent to which either jurisdiction appears to be delivering fairer outcomes. This involves a critique of the policy of free tuition in Scotland and the extent to which universal social services inevitably deliver more equal outcomes. Secondly, we consider the nature and extent of marketisation within higher education in Scotland and the rest of the UK. We argue that, prior to the changes of 2012, there were already strong elements of competition across the UK, particularly in areas such as international student recruitment and research funding. We agree with Marginson (2013) that they have promoted a pre-existing quasi-market in higher education rather than establishing a full-blown economic market. Furthermore, their impact has not just been restricted to England, but has been felt across the UK. Finally, in relation to higher education, we consider the vision of further devolution as set out in the Command Paper entitled Scotland in the United Kingdom: An Enduring Settlement (Her Majesty’s Government, 2015).

Keywords:   Research policy, independence, Scotland, higher education, research funding

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