Scottish students have saved £1 billion in tuition fees under the SNP government while students south of the Border have footed a bill of £14bn, according to Scottish Parliament research.

Research from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Spice), commissioned by the SNP, found that since fees rose to £9000 three years ago they have cost students in the rest of the UK £14bn.

The research also found that Scottish students studying at Scottish universities saved £1bn over the same number of years.

Since the introduction of tuition fees south of the Border in 1998, they have risen by as much as 800%.

The SNP Government said it is committed to keeping higher education fee-free for young people.

SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell, convener of the Scottish Parliament's education committee, said: "It was a Labour government at Westminster that opened the floodgates on fees in 1998 … We must never let that happen in Scotland."