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Call for Evidence

Universities and Scotland

Terms of reference: Universities and Scotland


The inquiry comes during a period of intense pressure on the sector. Scotland’s 19 universities face a ‘perfect storm’ as long-term budgetary challenges combined with a decline in international student fees as they stay away during the coronavirus pandemic, could lead to losses of up to £651m. 

Typically, the sector survives on a combination of non-EU international students’ tuition fees, research grants from the Scottish Funding Council and money provided in the Scottish budget. Scottish and EU students do not pay tuition fees in Scotland. The current crisis has triggered interventions by both the UK and Scottish Governments to support research, institutions and student support, but questions remain over whether it will be enough. The Committee will look at the challenges and opportunities in funding models for Scottish universities and for student support in the country.  

Given that international students’ fees provide a large chunk of total funding for universities in Scotland, it comes as no surprise that the sector harbours concerns about the impact policies set by the UK Government, such as the post-Brexit immigration system, will have on their institutions. The Committee will also use the inquiry as an opportunity to examine the impact policies made in Whitehall will have on Scottish Universities, their students, their employees and on research. 

Call for evidence 

The Committee calls for evidence for the inquiry to be submitted on the following issues: 

  • The scale and nature of challenges and opportunities around funding for Scottish universities including funding models, deficits, overseas and EU students’ fees; 
  • How Scottish university research fits in with UK university research; and 
  • UK Government policy and how it effects universities, students, employees and research in Scotland. 

Anonymous/confidential submissions

If you would like to ask the Committee to accept your submission anonymously (meaning it will be published but without your name), or confidentially (meaning it won't be published at all), please say at the start of your evidence which of these you want to request, and tell us why.

Deadline for submissions

The Committee calls for evidence to be submitted by Monday 19 October.

This call for written evidence has now closed.

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