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5 February 2009

STEVENSON CONDEMNS ANTI-STUDENT LABOUR PARTY AS THEY SCORE A MASSIVE OWN GOAL WITH STUDENT NUMBERS

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has slammed the Labour party after their attempt to blame the SNP Government for a fall in student numbers backfired spectacularly. The numbers being quoted in their attacks relate to students who enrolled in 2007, and would have had to meet application deadlines four months before the election.

Far from showing a fall in student numbers under the SNP, the figures reveal that the anti-student policies of the Lib Dems and Labour had successfully driven potential students away from university.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“This latest attack is an own goal of massive proportions that only serves to highlight how badly the previous administration failed students in Banff & Buchan. The figures reveal the extent to which the Lib Dems and Labour succeeded in scaring potential students away from higher education.

“With policies like the graduate endowment piling up the debts that students had to face, it is hardly surprising that student numbers declined on their watch. That is why students across the country were delighted when the incoming SNP Government abolished the back-door tuition fee as one of our first acts.

“The fact that these figures show that the number of students applying in the final months of the previous administration fell means there can be no doubt that the Lib Dems and Labour are anti-student parties whose policies were hugely damaging to local students.

“Education should be based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay and the Lib Dems and Labour should be hanging their heads in shame at the results of their total failure to support that principle.”
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