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Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability

In 2020, Scottish Ministers wrote to SFC to commission us to undertake a review of coherent provision and sustainability. In June 2021, we published our final report and recommendations, which were subsequently endorsed by Scottish Government.

Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability

The Review was conducted over three phases and was overseen by a Programme Board, responsible for overseeing delivery of the review, ensuring that the project remained on track and milestones were met, that stakeholders were fully engaged and that recommendations were appropriately directed within SFC, to Scottish Ministers and to funded bodies.

Review Briefing

We developed a comprehensive briefing with detail on the scope, nature and timing of the review.

Coherence and Sustainability: A Review of Tertiary Education and Research

The final Coherent Provision and Sustainability: A Review of Tertiary Education and Research [PDF] report set out the significant strengths of Scotland’s colleges and universities, the challenges we face and key recommendations for system change, including:

  • Developing a clear strategic, longer term vision and intent for the future of tertiary education and research undertaken by colleges and universities in Scotland.
  • Protect excellent discovery research and develop mission-orientated research/knowledge exchange activities.
  • Build capacity and a more systematic approach to the way we collectively plan coherent tertiary provision and skills provision and investment.
  • Find better ways to support learning throughout life.
  • Ensure the interests of current and future students are protected.
  • Recognise more fully the importance of international education connections.
  • Galvanise current and future leaders across tertiary education, skills provision and research.

Alongside the final report we published:

Scottish Government response to SFC Review

The Scottish Government published its response to the review on its website.

Other review material

Phase One Reports

The Phase 1 report -Coherence and Sustainability: A review of Scotland’s Colleges and Universities Phase One Report: Insights to Develop Further [PDF] - reflects the views of more than 100 organisations and many individuals. It was published alongside:

Phase 2 Progress Update

The Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability - Progress Update - March 2021 [PDF] report provided an update on activity since the publication of our Phase 1 Review Report, with a particular focus on addressing the immediate challenges presented by COVID-19 and on our developing thinking across the themes identified through our call for evidence.

Responses to our Call for Evidence

In line with our commitment to a transparent and collaborative process, we published responses to the Phase 1 Call for Evidence. Annex B (Respondent Information) was removed and responses were published in alphabetical order.

Commission from Scottish Ministers

Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, wrote to SFC Chair, Mike Cantlay, on 3 June 2020 to commission SFC to undertake a review of coherent provision and sustainability.

30 June 2020: Response from SFC Chair, Mike Cantlay, to Ministerial commission.