SFC news published since 2018. See SFC archived content for earlier news articles.

Photocollage of college students in different environments: workshops, library, socialising and hairdresser.

Photo (left to right): Newbattle Abbey College, UHI Perth, Fife College, City of Glasgow College

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has published its latest College Statistics report today. The report combines new data with information collected over the past ten years to provide an overview of Scotland’s colleges since 2013-14.

Amongst the findings of today’s report is a continuing increase in enrolments to college courses with a further rise of around 2.4% in 2022-23. The number of students on courses has also increased to 248,907.

The report also notes, however, that the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) places has fallen to its lowest level in the past decade. It suggests the pattern of fewer FTEs and more enrolments and a greater headcount may have been driven by more people signing up for part-time courses and a drop in enrolments for full-time study.

Also down is the proportion of 18 to 19 year olds in Scotland participating in full time college education. The reasons for this are likely to include a record proportion of school leavers entering employment and an increase in Scottish school leavers accepting places at Scottish universities.

Commenting on today’s report, Martin Boyle, SFC’s Director of Policy, Insight and Analytics, said:

“One of the strengths of colleges in Scotland is their ability to respond to change, and today’s report illustrates some underlying shifts in patterns of demand. With data now going back to 2013-14 we can see how these shifts look in relation to longer term trends and build towards an even more agile and responsive college sector in the future.”