13 Apr 2021
MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (14 April) launched its manifesto ahead of the Scottish elections on 6 May, asking Scottish parliamentary candidates to commit to five pledges to support modern universities and their students to drive inclusive growth and opportunity across Scotland.
Professor Nigel Seaton, Principal of Abertay University and MillionPlus Executive member, said:
“With the launch of this manifesto we ask all MSP candidates to commit to properly fund modern universities in Scotland so they can continue to provide life-changing education opportunities across the length and breadth of Scotland.
“Scotland’s seven modern universities are significantly underfunded and the next government should seek to redress this by increasing per-student teaching funding.
“Underfunding our modern universities puts at risk the progress made in recent years to widen access to higher educations. Almost 60% of full-time students at modern universities are from the most disadvantaged backgrounds and we hope the next government will give proper consideration to the institutions which have and continue to do the heavy lifting when it comes to giving opportunities to all who can benefit from higher education.
“To help ensure a robust recovery from the pandemic, the next government should also commit to establish a Public Services Education Capital Investment programme. Almost a third of students at modern universities study courses directly linked to public services, including nursing and teaching. They have been vital throughout the pandemic and the value and weight of their contribution should be recognised, along with the universities that train them.
“Modern universities also work closely with businesses across Scotland, from course design and knowledge exchange to apprenticeships. These universities already contribute some £2bn to their regional economies and support 30,000 jobs. Increased investment would help further cement these vital links between universities and their communities.”
The five pledges are:
Notes to editors