Two Scottish universities have been fined for admitting too many Scottish and EU students.
Figures from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), which provides money to universities on behalf of the Scottish Government, show Abertay University in Dundee was fined £132,000 from its annual £14.5 million teaching grant, while the Scottish Agricultural College, now part of the amalgamated Scotland’s Rural College, was docked £142,000 of its £4.7m grant.
While there are no limits on the number of international and rest of UK (RUK) students Scottish universities can admit, there are strict controls on the number of funded places for Scots and those from elsewhere in the EU. Despite the fines, the figures for academic year 2011-12 represent a fall from the previous year, when four universities – Aberdeen, Abertay, Heriot-Watt and Stirling – were fined a total of £1,757,000.
In a recent letter to the Scottish Parliament’s education committee, education secretary Mike Russell said he is continuing to investigate a “service charge” for EU students, but added the situation remained “very complex”.
Glasgow University has previously warned that increasing numbers of EU students coming to Scotland for free tuition could see Scots miss out on a place at university in their home country.