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The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has confirmed funding of £1.9 billion for colleges and universities for the next academic year.

The announcement represents the highest annual allocation of teaching and research funding ever made by the Scottish Funding Council. It includes money to support the health and wellbeing of students and puts colleges and universities at the heart of economic and social recovery and transformation.

Also included in today’s announcement is £16.2 million for work-based apprenticeship programmes. This will fund over 1,370 Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) places at universities and 3,160 Foundation Apprenticeships (FA) at colleges for senior phase school pupils, to meet the collective ambition of 5,000 FA opportunities in AY 2021-22, through colleges, local authorities and independent training providers.

Overall, the funding for Scotland’s colleges, at £712 million, represents an uplift of more than £60 million from last year. Colleges will also be funded to help regional employers get the skills they need and to help people reskill for future employment. This funding includes an additional £10 million to support delivery of the Young Person’s Guarantee. Today’s announcement also enables colleges to support students whose studies have been disrupted during the pandemic.

In the university sector, teaching funding at £738 million represents an increase of £53 million (8 percent) from last year. This includes around £14 million to fund additional places for young people leaving school following the special assessment arrangements created by the pandemic. Further funding of £294 million secures and protects vital investment in our university research and innovation base, so that we continue to discover new knowledge and translate that knowledge into benefits for health, economic prosperity and wider social impact.

Higher and Further Education Minister, Jamie Hepburn, said:

“In my new role I look forward to working closely with the Scottish Funding Council. Colleges and universities are key strategic assets not only in the fight against the pandemic but in our economic and social recovery which is why, for financial year 2021-22, the Scottish Government has increased funding to both the college and university sectors.”

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

“This investment in Scotland’s colleges and universities is vital for our pipeline of skilled and educated talent for the future, widens access to opportunities, protects world-leading research and plays a leading role in securing sustainable economic prosperity and a vibrant society.”