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The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has announced final levels of university and college funding for the next academic year.

Today’s announcement confirms earlier figures based on the draft Scottish budget. This means overall college funding has increased to meet the harmonisation and job evaluation costs of national bargaining for lecturers and support staff. Funding for student support is also confirmed to rise next year, enabling colleges to take better account of learners’ personal circumstances.

Teaching grants in most universities will increase overall, largely due to significant increases in undergraduate places for future nurses, midwives, doctors and teachers recently communicated to the sectors by SFC.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Richard Lochhead said:

“This investment supports our colleges and universities to continue to develop well-educated, highly skilled people and deliver the world class innovation that is central to our economic future.

We want all learners to reach their full potential and we also continue to invest record amounts in student support, with over 120,000 undergraduates studying in Scotland benefitting from free tuition every year.”

Funding for research and innovation in Scottish universities remains broadly unchanged in cash terms. Capital funding, including the provision of low-cost loans, will be around £12 million more than last year. The loan initiative is aimed at ‘spend-to-save’ projects, including energy efficiency; developing university campuses; and collaborations between institutions.

To support the sector’s response to ambitions laid out by the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board, SFC is challenging universities to develop new, more flexible programmes to allow employers and individuals to develop new skills. By repurposing £6.1m of funding in this way, SFC is supporting the sector’s efforts to play its part in the upskilling and reskilling agenda.

Karen Watt, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said:

“The Scottish Funding Council is committed to continuing to fund teaching, research excellence and innovation. I am also pleased to confirm today funding for new skills programmes in universities which will be an important part in Scotland’s economic future.”