Number of Scots in further education falls by 150,000

The number of students in further education across Scotland has fallen by 150,000 since the SNP first came to power, new figures have revealed.

The number of students at college has dropped. Picture: Toby Williams

Leaders at the Scottish Funding Council said there were 227,258 college students in 2015-16. This compares to 379,223 in 2007.

And although ministers met the target of providing at least 116,000 funded, full-time equivalent places in 2015-16, the total dropped from 119,023 in the previous year to 117,204.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

However, a record 24,317 college students successfully completed higher education courses last year, achieving degrees, HNC and HND qualifications among others.

There was also a small rise in the number of people studying at college, increasing by 339 to 227,258 in 2015-16.

Higher and further education minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said the figures gave “a great overview of the fantastic work being done in the college sector” and also highlighted areas where more work is needed.