Ministers within the SNP rejected a £190million package to support universities in Scotland from the UK Government. The bailout was aimed at helping the institutions survive during the coronavirus pandemic but was blocked over fears it would allow the Government to determine the future of Scottish universities. Scotland’s universities minister, Richard Lochhead, had previously demanded full support for institutions in Scotland but stated any fund would hand control to the UK.
Universities fear they could lose £191million in finances.
One university academic said: “As a university lecturer I am acutely aware of the funding needs of universities across Scotland.
“This is an outrageous decision by the Scottish Government.”
Another said: “The SNP will use every power they have to undermine the UK, even if it is harmful to Scotland.
“This is why they don’t give a damn about a 15 billion deficit.
“They think it’s a small price to pay for separation to destroy the country they hate.”
A third said: “Just shows how much interest they have in the young people of Scotland. None.”
Although Mr Lochhead stated his doubt any university would go under due to the lack of funding, he admitted the Scottish Government could not match the £191million needed.
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They would also be a push for certain courses to be ditched if deemed unecessary for the economy, while mergers between universities and colleges would be encouraged.
The Scottish Government has also hit out at Westminster over the possible Internal Market Bill.
Westminster hopes the new piece of legislation would prevent trade barriers and would form what Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, claimed “bed rock of our shared responsibility”.
Holyrood, however, has claimed the new legislation would be a power grab for Westminster.
Scottish Constitution Secretary Mike Russell claimed there must be common frameworks shared between the devolved nations in place of the new legislation.
He said: “I want to see the four administrations working through and agreeing common frameworks – with good will and commitment this can be achieved.