Colleges welcome cash windfall

September 24, 1999

All but 4 per cent of colleges have reaped the rewards of one of the government's most generous pay-outs, the Further Education Funding Council for England confirmed this week. But colleges have been prevented from raising adult student numbers as much as they wanted.

The FEFC has distributed Pounds 3.2 billion between 440 colleges for 1999-2000 - a Pounds 324 million increase. The package, in return for further growth, included Pounds 64 million for getting more adult students, Pounds 60 million to raise participation among 16 to 18-year-olds and Pounds 25 million to widen participation among lower socio-economic groups.

The average cash increase is 5 per cent, with sixth-form colleges benefiting from fully funded 16 to 19-year-old expansion. Only 16 colleges received less than last year and none had cuts of more than 1 per cent in real terms.

The Association of Colleges welcomed the FEFC's decision to fund all requested growth in 16-to-19 provision but said some colleges had been hindered from fully expanding adult provision.

FEFC chief executive David Melville said the FEFC decided not to meet any additional requests for adult growth funding from individual colleges on top of Pounds 64 million initially allocated for it. For the full allocations list visit: www.thesis.co.uk.

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