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Funding Council announces further investment in widening access

24 Jan 2014

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has given universities and colleges an early indication of their funding for next year. The allocations published today will be confirmed after finalisation of the Budget Bill currently going through the Scottish Parliament.

Widening access for learners who face financial and social barriers to higher education will continue to be a priority in 2014‐15. £18.5 million is to be invested in around 3,300 additional places, the majority being for widening access and better progression opportunities for college students. This means more university places for people from deprived backgrounds and more college students being able to progress to university.

College students across Scotland needing financial assistance to help them to complete their studies will be protected by an increase of almost two percent in student support and childcare funds.

Laurence Howells, Interim Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council said: “Anyone setting their sights at further and higher education will benefit from this funding to colleges and universities across Scotland. As well as funding for students we are also announcing continuing investment in research and innovation so today represents an investment of over £1.6 billion in better life chances and better prospects for Scotland’s economy.”

Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “While the final allocations have yet to be confirmed, today’s publication of such significant levels of investment into further and higher education highlight the Scottish Government’s commitment to post 16 education.

“This announcement means our colleges and universities can progress planning on our priorities such as widening access, progression from further to higher education and more support for college students, mirroring the emphasis that we have placed on education being based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay.”

SFC’s funding decisions for 2014‐15 also represent a further step forward in ensuring college funding allocations match different and changing needs in different parts of Scotland.