Aberdeen University has become the first university in Scotland to set increased tuition fees for students from England the rest of the UK.
The university’s governing body met on Friday afternoon to decide on raising tuition fees to £9000 a year in line with the limit set in England.
Under the plans, students from England, Wales and Ireland will pay no more than £27,000 for a four-year degree, in line with rates south of the border where degrees are generally only three years long.
The increases are subject to the Scottish Government passing legislation to charge students form the rest of the UK studying in Scotland and are due to come into force in the 2012/13 academic year.
Professor Ian Diamond, principal and vice-chancellor of the university, said: “Given that we are one of the world’s top 150 universities and our graduates enjoy some of the best starting salaries in the UK, Aberdeen must remain an academic destination of choice, without disadvantaging those who wish to enjoy the benefits of a four-year Scottish degree.
“As a result the University of Aberdeen has decided that rest of the UK students will pay no more than £27,000 for a four-year degree programme but that the rate per year is set at £9000.
“In order to offer flexibility of choice to students, those who wish to take advantage of the breadth of study offered by a four-year degree will only pay for three years of study at a rate of £9000, meaning that total fees for four-year degree at Aberdeen will be equivalent to those for a three-year degree in other parts of the UK.
“We will also continue to offer advanced entry options to rest of the UK students who meet the entry requirements so that degrees can be completed in three years at a cost in-line with Universities south of the border with the same standing as Aberdeen.
“We believe that today’s decision will enable the University of Aberdeen to continue to deliver first rate education and internationally recognised research and to further develop its ability to attract world-class scholars.”
Earlier this week, Phil Shiner, of Public Interest Lawyers, announced that he is planning to challenge the Scottish Government’s policy on tuition fees on human rights grounds.
Mr Shiner said he will argue that the practice of charging students living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for their tuition breaches the European Convention on Human Rights as well as the UK Equality Act.
The Scottish Government has defended its policy, saying that it does not discriminate against students from any other EU state.