£134m cash boost for NI colleges

June 6, 2003

Further education in Northern Ireland has been given a £134 million funding boost.

Some £120 million of the cash will be allocated to colleges according to student numbers, enrolment, duration of courses and type of provision.

A further £14 million has been given for specific initiatives designed to support economic development, widen access and increase participation of those underrepresented in learning and to raise standards of teaching and learning within further education.

Minister Jane Kennedy said the package was a demonstration of the continued commitment to the sector. "Important links are being forged with local businesses, voluntary and community bodies and our colleges, and this development programme will continue," she added.

Westminster ministers have also confirmed that there will be a review of the entire further education system in Northern Ireland.

The government wants to pin down what each of the 16 colleges should be doing and how they could be better organised.

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