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Leading principal calls for graduate job tax
Thursday, 31 May 2007
Life after graduation
Figures from leading student and executive bodies have hit back at suggestions from a top university principal that a new graduate job tax should be introduced to help fund higher education.
Dr Brian Lang, principal at St Andrews University, claimed earlier this week that increased levies on the graduate job sector should be considered as the Scottish Executive considers how to up funding to its universities.
The comments sparked concern, however, that a new graduate job tax could serve to seriously hamper existing students and put talented youngsters from poorer backgrounds off the idea of attending university.
James Alexander, president of the National Union of Students Scotland, commented: "Graduates who have financially benefited from their course already pay higher tax because they have increased earnings. There are also a large number of students who never benefit financially from their degrees, such as student nurses and those entering the voluntary sector.
"Students and graduates cannot be expected to continuously be treated as a bottomless pit," he continued.
A spokesperson from the Scottish Executive added that, while education secretary Fiona Hyslop was currently reviewing student finance, no plans for a graduate tax had been discussed.