Readers' letters: Link free uni fees to working in Scotland

University Scotland has warned that overseas students are set to become universities' main source of income.
Jamie Helpburn, Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and TrainingJamie Helpburn, Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training
Jamie Helpburn, Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training

Higher Education Minister Jamie Hepburn said that the Scottish Government invests almost £1.9 billion every year in colleges and universities.

The critical shortage of doctors, nurses and dentists is quite simply that they left Scotland.

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Free university education was introduced in Scotland in August 2000 for people who had lived in Scotland for three years, so why did various Scottish Governments not link this taxpayer-funded education to ensuring recipients worked in Scotland for five years and thus repay taxpayers?

This would have ensured that Scotland did not experience shortages in key areas.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

Would a Labour victory help the SNP?

The SNP likes a Tory in Downing Street to dislike, yet with Keir Starmer holding a 17 point lead over Liz Truss, how would Nicola Sturgeon manage if a centre-left Prime Minister comes to power in 2024 or before?

Assuming the Supreme Court finds against the Scottish Government and there's no independence referendum next year, Sturgeon (or her successor) may be faced with Labour in power at Westminster.Starmer and Sturgeon roughly compete for the same centre-left territory. If Starmer achieves an outright majority, the SNP has no leverage and is faced with a centre-left UK government less easy to bait than the Tories.

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The SNP’s ideal arrange-ment (ruled out by Starmer) would be a minority Labour government it can prop up in return for granting indyref2 - yet Labour may be in a position to turn to the LibDems to at least be able to pass legislation under a confidence and supply arrangement.

Labour and the LibDems now both back proportional representation - if the LibDems were to demand a PR referendum in exchange for keeping Starmer in power, then that's no longer an issue. Majority or minority Labour administration - the SNP could easily be side-lined.Starmer may not agree with May, Johnson and Truss on much except, with regard to indyref2.

Martin Redfern, Melrose.

Is it time to charge for visits to A&E?

"Scots A & E over capacity for entire month”, says a FOI request. The government's target is for 95 per cent to be seen in four hours, but in one week in September only 63.5 per cent actually achieved the target.

The key is in the title, it is Accident and Emergency, not 'I cannot see a doctor this week so I came to A & E.'

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In a recent survey in a local hospital there were 58 people in the A & E waiting room, of these only three qualified as accident or emergency.

A patient seen by a doctor in A & E takes much longer than being seen by a doctor in a health centre, partly because A & E have more work, ie taking bloods and checking all symptoms etc.

The answer is to charge £5 to see a doctor in A & E, then the queues would vanish. Oh no, we can't do that we would lose the referendum.

James Macintyre, Linlithgow.

Cap renewable cap

We hear certain companies are supplying 100 per cent renewable electricity.

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Renewables are powered by the wind, sun and rain and these forces are free, so there's no excuse for this type of energy to increase in price beyond a small amount.

Let's see these companies put their money where their mouth is and keep their prices well below the cap.

Geoff Moore, Alness, Highland.

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