Scots lag behind on spending

September 5, 2003

Funding increases for Scottish higher education are set to lag dramatically behind spending plans south of the border, a Scottish parliamentary committee was told this week.

A briefing paper for the enterprise and culture committee shows that since 1994-95, increases in income for English and Scottish universities have been broadly similar, at 44.5 per cent and 45.2 per cent respectively.

But the briefing from Spice, the Scottish Parliament's Information Centre, shows Scotland getting a declining share of the higher education budget just as England prepares for a massive funding boost.

Projected spending plans for Scotland show a 5 per cent increase next year and only 3 per cent in 2005-06, while England will have a 2 per cent rise next year and 11 per cent the year after.

The paper warns that strict comparisons are problematic but suggests the committee "may want to consider options for filling the funding gap".

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