Scottish government to discuss funding for colleges

New figures show that the number of college students in Scotland has risen by more than 3% in the past year but is down 38% on 2007/2008.

A report by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has stated that 235,737 students were studying at colleges across Scotland in 2016/17, up 3.8% on the previous year.

That’s hundreds of thousands of Scots who have been cut off from the opportunity of studying at college – Iain Gray, Shadow Education Secretary

The SFC report states the fall in student numbers from 2007/08 is due to the “policy shift away from short courses and non-recognised qualifications that did not support labour market demands” and student numbers have “comparably levelled out since 2012-13″.


College stats published today confirm there are over 140,000 fewer people students going to college under the SNP.

The figures show the proportion of learning hours for students with a declared disability has increased slightly up from 16.8% in 2015/16 to 17.1% in 2016/17.

Iain Gray, Shadow Education Secretary, told EN4News: “If you look at the 143’000 students that have clearly been excluded they are part time students, older students, women and disabled students. They are some of the most vulnerable in society, some of those who face the greatest barriers getting back into work”.

Defending the results of the report, Further and Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Over the last decade, Scotland’s colleges have undergone a transformation. This report shows two things, that the quality of learning at our colleges has never been higher and also that the college sector has equality firmly established at its heart – something we highlighted in a recent government report.”

Listen here for more with our reporter Kendal Dick:

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