3.This Act provides for the abolition of the fee known as the Graduate Endowment (“GE”) for students who successfully completed their course on 1 April 2007 or thereafter.
4.The GE was introduced by the Education (Graduate Endowment and Student Support) (Scotland) Act 2001 (“the 2001 Act”) and applied from 1 August 2001. The GE is imposed by reference to the undertaking of a course of higher education at a publicly-funded institution. The GE currently operates in accordance with the 2001 Act and regulations made under the 2001 Act, the Graduate Endowment (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (S.S.I. 2007/155) (“the principal regulations”).
5.The 2001 Act and the principal regulations operate so that liability to pay the GE arises when the student graduates or ceases to undertake the course having satisfied the academic requirements for the award of the degree (i.e. when the student becomes a “liable graduate”). But the obligation to actually pay the GE (i.e. settle the liability) does not crystallise until 1 April following the last day of the last academic year of the course (that date being the “due date”). Thus, any student who successfully completes his or her course on or after 1 April in a particular year is under obligation to pay the GE on 1 April in the following year. The amount payable is set at the beginning of the degree course and, for entrants in academic year 2006-07, the fee would have been £2,289 at the time of successful completion of the course.