Scotland's grants review promises financial relief

February 14, 1997

Further education colleges are short of cash. Some think working with higher education institutions is the answer, but Scottish colleges have been penalised for doing so.

Scotland's further education colleges have welcomed a pledge from Scottish Office education minister Raymond Robertson to review the way their grants are calculated.

Mr Robertson made the promise as he announced the 43 colleges' grants for 1997-98, which total Pounds 231 million. Eleven colleges would have suffered a drop of more than 6 per cent on the basis of the Scottish Office Educational and Industry Department's current formula, which measures student activity rather than places, but they will be able to bid for additional safety net funds if they submit acceptable recovery plans.

Graham Clark, principal of Falkirk College, which has been safety netted, said the existing funding methodology was "totally unfair" to large colleges with a high proportion of higher education work.

"We have grown by 5 per cent in the past year, and the prize for that is to lose 6 per cent of our money," he said. "It's quite clear that the total allocation to the sector is inappropriate, and I think a lot of people are more than a little annoyed that money is getting pumped into the higher education sector, which isn't growing, while there is 9 per cent growth in the further education sector and at best we are standing still."

* More than a quarter of Scotland's higher education students are studying in further education colleges, according to the ASC.

The ASC's submission to the Dearing inquiry highlights higher education provision in the colleges, which, unlike south of the border, is funded by the Scottish Office and not the Higher Education Funding Council.

Scottish further education college grant allocations for 1997-98

College Grant (Pounds )

Aberdeen College 13,825,100

Angus College 3,475,900

Anniesland College 4,539,000

Ayr College 4,563,600

Banff & Buchan College of Further Education 3,644,100

The Barony College *1,156,300

Bell College of Technology *4,736,900

Borders College 4,036,000

Cambuslang College 4,212,800

Cardonald College 6,472,300

Central College of Commerce 4,533,500

Clackmannan College of Further Education 2,289,800

Clydebank College 6,137,900

Coatbridge College 3,683,800

Cumbernauld College 2,910,700

Dumfries and Galloway College 4,832,600

Dundee College *9,377,900

Elmwood College *3,007,400

Falkirk College of Further & Higher Education *7,355,300

Fife College of Further & Higher Education *6,641,600

Glasgow College of Building and Printing 5,557,400

Glasgow College of Food Technology 3,068, 300

Glasgow College of Nautical Studies 3,690,000

Glenrothes College 5,010,900

Inverness College *5,614,300

James Watt College of Further & Higher Education8,795,100

Jewel and Esk Valley College 7,049,300

John Wheatley College 3,611,400

Kilmarnock College 5,392,100

Langside College 6,412,300

Lauder College 5,516,600

Lews Castle College *1,842,700

Moray College 4,593,900

Motherwell College 7,936,000

North Glasgow College *5,390,000

Oatridge Agricultural College 1,745,200

Perth College *5,417,700

Reid Kerr College 8,198,800

Stevenson College 10,600,700

Stow College 4,469,700

Edinburgh's Telford College 13,111,900

Thurso College 2,394,100

West Lothian College *4,309,200

TOTAL 231,160,100

* Safety-netted colleges whose grant would otherwise have fallen by more than 60 per cent.

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