MEDICAL students from England could be charged thousands of pounds to study at universities north of the border under plans to safeguard places for Scottish students.
Scottish ministers fear that English students could take up spaces in Scotland when top-up fees are introduced south of the border.
A consultation paper proposes to increase general tuition fees, to reflect a level in line with those being set in England.
It also asks for views on whether to set a separate, higher again, flat-rate tuition fee for medical courses.
But Scottish students will still have their tuition fees met by the Students Awards Agency for Scotland.
The move to increase tuition fees at Scottish universities for students from England was announced last June by Lifelong Learning Minister Jim Wallace.
He proposed that fees would rise by between £500 and £700, making the total somewhere between £1,700 and £1,900 a year.
Mr Wallace said this would prevent Scottish universities being flooded with students from England when fees there are expected go up to £3,000 next year.
A spokesman for Universities Scotland, the umbrella body for higher education, said: "We are not discriminating against English students.
"They will be paying roughly the same if they study in Scotland as if they were in England."