Scottish further education is barely keeping up with demand, and the sector has the potential to grow substantially, says a recent report on supply and demand.
The report, compiled by Consultancy firm DTZ Pieda for the Scottish Further Education Funding Council, says: "Underlying growth in demand will outpace any overall decline in forecast population."
The report warns of "significant pockets" of low participation. It would cost an extra £17 million a year to bring these up to the national average, and an extra £81 million to boost student participation in these areas to the level of northeast Scotland, second highest in the country after Glasgow, the report estimates.
"There is widespread evidence of underinvestment in the further education estate, and we have concluded that this is constraining supply meeting demand," it says.
Collaboration between colleges is crucial to improving participation, it adds.