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Audit Scotland report: Scotland’s colleges 2016

College students

25 Aug 2016

Audit Scotland has today published an overview report on Scotland’s colleges.

John Kemp, Interim Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council said:

“We welcome today’s publication from Audit Scotland, which reports that colleges continue to exceed their targets for student learning opportunities.

“Earlier this week we published our overarching assessment of the college merger programme, which showed that Scotland's colleges have successfully transformed the landscape for colleges in Scotland, creating something that will be better for students and employers

“Together with the Scottish Government, we will now work with colleges to consider and address Audit Scotland’s findings and recommendations. We will of course take action where that is necessary.”

The Scottish Funding Council’s overview report on the merger programme between 2012 and 2013, Impact and success of the programme of college mergers in Scotland, evaluated the success in delivering the intended benefits and outcomes for students and other key stakeholders. The evidence reviewed confirmed that:

  • The merger programme in Scotland has led to the formation of colleges which are more resilient and sustainable for the future, with a focus on achieving efficient and effective business services while continuing to develop and support the staff who are central to this success.
  • Through changes to such a substantial proportion of the sector, the mergers have created a landscape better suited to the delivery of skills, engagement with employers and universities, better able to implement the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) initiative and further improve learner journeys.
  • The larger colleges created are working well and are confident and ambitious with a clear focus on putting the learner at the centre, where the priority is the learning and teaching and the achievements of students in study and in work.
  • Efficiencies and benefits of scale are being realised consistently across all of the merged colleges. The merger costs are reported as totaling £69.6 million, with ongoing savings totalling £52.2 million each year. It therefore took less than a year and a half for the original costs to be covered by the savings.