FIRST Minister Humza Yousaf has written to Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar urging him to clarify his position on tuition fees.

It comes after Labour MSP Michael Marra – a member of Sarwar's frontbench team - suggested his party could examine models to reintroduce charges.

Speaking at the Scottish Labour conference last month, Marra insisted that “we are not talking about tuition fees but we are talking about having to find a new formula, a new away of addressing that system”.

Pressed on what that would look like – during a fringe event organised by Dundee University – he said: “There’s lots of models across Europe. So there’s post-hoc in terms of after the event, things that we had previously whether it be graduate taxes, whether it be endowments.”

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The graduate endowment was brought in by Labour when they were in government in Scotland and saw students pay a £2000 fee after graduation.

Yousaf has now asked Sarwar to confirm Labour’s position on free tuition for Scottish domiciled students arguing his silence on Marra’s comments has been “deafening”.

In his letter he said: "Since the SNP Government abolished Labour’s backdoor tuition fees in 2007, close to 700,000 students in Scotland have benefited from free access to university.
"The number of Scottish first-time, full-time degree entrants has grown by 31% and the number of students from our poorest communities is at a record high.
"Asking those who earn the most to pay a little more allows Scotland to have the strongest social contract in the UK.
"Thus far, your silence on your finance spokesperson’s remarks has been deafening, but young people in Scotland have the right to know precisely what Labour stands for.
"Your leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has already u-turned on his support for free tuition.

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"In Labour-run Wales, the cap on university tuition fees is rising from £9000 to £9250.
"I'd be grateful if you could confirm Michael Marra's comments are now Labour Party policy in Scotland, and outline exactly how you think students should pay for tuition in Scotland and how high the fees should be?”

Yousaf added abolishing tuition fees was one of the SNP’s proudest achievements and his Government would “always ensure that access to university is based on the ability to learn and not the ability to pay”.

Starmer dropped his pledge to scrap tuition fees in England last May after it was a key promise in his party leadership bid when he ran in 2020.

Marra’s comments came after Scottish Conservative MSP Liz Smith also came out in support of bringing back the graduate endowment last month, insisting free tuition for Scottish domiciled students was “not sustainable”. This was despite her party backing free tuition fees in 2021.