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Scott: Colleges struggling to keep their heads above water

September 12, 2017 4:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP has today warned that colleges are struggling to keep their heads above water after the Colleges Scotland chief executive blamed the Scottish Government for the "unsustainable" financial position at Scotland's colleges.

In a written submission to a Holyrood committee ahead of an evidence session on Thursday, Colleges Scotland chief executive Shona Struthers said: "What is seen here is the culmination of the effect of policy and investment decisions taken over a number of years by the Scottish Government."

Responding, Mr Scott said:

"SNP ministers have plundered college budgets to plug gaps elsewhere and the results are clear. The sector is facing serious financial challenges.

"Scottish Liberal Democrats have consistently argued that £93 million in cuts to college budgets and the loss of 150,000 places have devastated further education. They have fallen particularly heavily on mature students, women and others more likely to study part time. It is no surprise that Scotland's colleges are struggling to keep their heads above water.

"As part of a £500 million additional investment in education, Scottish Liberal Democrats would return college funding to record levels, giving the economy the skills it needs and enabling everyone to get on in life."