Debate on free tuition in Scotland at QMU

By Press Office

How the Scottish government has built the case for free tuition, and what that means for the scope to debate alternatives, is to be discussed at a public talk on Thursday 1 March 2018. The event is part of a series of free public talks at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and this debate will look at the latest research associated with the policy of free tuition.

University education remains free for undergraduate students in Scotland whilst in the rest of the UK, tuition fees have been introduced. The policy of free higher education has remained sacrosanct. Famously the words of former First Minister Alex Salmond were etched in stone that, “the rocks will melt with the sun before I allow tuition fees to be imposed on Scotland's students”.  

Yet increasingly the impact of this policy has been brought into question. A number of research studies have questioned the extent to which this represents a middle class subsidy. In this talk, researcher Lucy Hunter Blackburn will discuss her research into this area and what it represents in terms of the importance of narrative in policy making. Places can be reserved via Eventbrite.

‘The pros and cons of a powerful narrative: the case of free tuition’ presented by Lucy Hunter Blackburn from University of Edinburgh, is being held on 1 March 2018 from 10-12pm. This research seminar series has been funded by the JUC Public Administration Committee.

Dr Ian Elliott, Director of the Master of Public Administration (MPA), has organised this free event. He said: “It's important for our students to get opportunities to debate current public policy issues. This public talk will help students learn from latest research and to consider the role of narrative in policy making. Being open to members of the public also allows others to engage in the debate and so it’s an important all round learning opportunity.”

Other public talks in this QMU series will cover aspects of public service delivery such as public sector reform, accountability in local government, the politics of fertility and the experiences of LGBT+ service users. 


Notes to Editor


  • QMU has been supporting public service organisations at the University for ten years. Over that time we have supported over 100 students and many public and Third Sector employers to meet the ongoing challenges and uncertainties surrounding public service delivery. Our Master of Public Administration is the only MPA in Scotland. We provide the opportunity to gain insights from international examples of public administration and to critically discuss future developments with fellow learners, academics and experienced guest speakers. Modules include International Trends in Public Administration, Leading Change in Public Services and Workplace Learning. There are competitive rates available for public sector employers who sponsor students on the programme.

For further media information contact Lynne Russell, Communications Manager, Queen Margaret University, E: T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239, or Jonathan Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: T: 0131 474 0000. 

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