THE Association of University Teachers Scotland is opposing any move by a modified Scottish Higher Education Funding Council to fund further education.
The colleges are funded directly by the Scottish Office at present, but SHEFC's recent submission to the Dearing inquiry called for a single Scottish tertiary council. It argued that the funding split was a barrier to meeting students' and employers' needs.
Looking forward to the election, AUTS's annual council meeting at Stirling University unanimously backed a motion calling for a buffer body under a Scottish parliament, based on SHEFC, which would be responsible for planning and funding higher education.
But it vetoed the prospect of such a body extending its remit to cover further education, warning that giving a single body two distinct remits would be to the detriment of both sectors of post-school education.
The council supported the creation of a Scottish further education funding council, and anticipated that it would cooperate with the new SHEFC.
Shadow chancellor Gordon Brown came under attack for signalling that an incoming Labour Government would continue to hold down public sector pay. Council members called on the AUTS executive "to emphasise the importance of the public sector to the Labour party", and to campaign alongside the Scottish Trades Union Congress against a pay freeze.