Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Adam Smith facts, yes; no-fees in Scotland for Scots, also yes.

Alan Ramsay, an activist, writes in Bright Green (HERE):

“Edinburgh University announces UK’s highest fees”

“This is why the University of Edinburgh exists. That is its mission statement. The university at which I studied has a proud history of holding to this mission. Its graduates have contributed enormously: Charles Darwin, Alexander Graham Bell, James Clerk Maxwell, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, J.M. Barrie, and Sir Walter Scott; Adam Smith and David Hume (though he was kicked out for being an atheist).”

There are no University fees for students whose normal domicile has been in Scotland. For all Scottish students there are no fees and this is to continue by decision of the Scottish government. Only English, Welsh and Northern Ireland students are to pay the new fees (as per their own students who pay fees for attending their universities).

Also, it is important to be correct historically.

Adam Smith was never a student at Edinburgh - he was educated at Glasgow 1737-40 (fees paid by his mother and guardians) and Oxford (Balliol College), fees paid by his Snell Exhibition (£40 per year) 1740-46). He lectured on Rhetoric in the Town of Edinburgh (not the University), post Oxford, 1748-51, and then was appointed Professor at Glasgow (1751-64).

He was awarded his LL.D by Glasgow in 1763 while a Professor. There is no record of his graduating at either Glasgow or Oxford as BA or AM. It was a condition of the Snell Exhibition that candidates for Balliol had not graduated 'anywhere'. Apart from his LL.D from Glasgow, he did not receive a degree from anywhere else.

While Adam Smith knew, discussed with and socialised with many graduates of and professors of Edinburgh University, including William Robertson, the Principal, he never attended the university nor taught there.

The issue of fees for non-Scottish domiciled UK students is quite separate from claims about Adam Smith.


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