Scottish universities and colleges to share £1.8bn public fund

Minister for Further Education and Science Shirley-Anne Somerville
Minister for Further Education and Science Shirley-Anne Somerville
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Universities and colleges will share increased public funding of £1.8 billion for the next academic year, ministers have announced.

Universities will share over £1.1 billion of funding, an increase of 1.2% from the investment made in 2017/18.

The revenue budget for colleges will increase by 8.3% to nearly £600 million, with the college capital budget also increasing by nearly £30 million to a total of £76.7 million.

The indicative allocations, published by the Scottish Funding Council, also show core student support funding increasing by £3.6 million, with an extra £5.2 million set aside for the implementation of the Independent Review of Student Support.

Announcing the allocations ahead of a visit to West College Scotland, Further and Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Universities and colleges are one of the cornerstones of Scotland’s education system, supporting people of all ages to fulfil their potential in life.

“They also have a significant role to play in creating a fairer society, and through our shared agenda to widen access to further and higher education we can help close the attainment gap between our most and least deprived young people.

“In recognition of their vital role, this Government has not only protected the budget of universities and colleges but increased it.

“For the significant sums invested, we expect universities to up the pace of change and begin to deliver real progress on our target to see students from the 20% most deprived backgrounds represent 20% of university entrants by 2020.

“And we look to colleges to respond flexibly to the demands and challenges of the labour market, delivering on areas of priority like early learning and childcare, to ensure our workforce is fit for the future.”

John Kemp, interim chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “Today’s announcement represents an increase to the funding of both colleges and universities in Scotland. That’s good news for everyone who benefits from further and higher education.

“The funding announced today will also support accelerated progress towards our ambitions for widening access, world-leading research, innovation and skills for Scotland’s economy.”