The Scottish Office this week added Pounds 17 million to next year's planned Pounds 653 million higher education funding.
The rise for Scottish further education will be Pounds 8 million, taking total spending to Pounds 350 million. Scottish education minister Brian Wilson said the extra money was the first fruit of tough decisions on student finance to ensure that higher and further education was properly funded. Earlier in the week, Mr Wilson had condemned "misinformation" about the government's tuition fees proposals. In this week's Scottish questions in the House of Commons, Scottish National Party and Liberal Democrat MPs called on Labour to drop the proposals, warning that they would deter potential applicants. In rebuttal, Mr Wilson said the proposals would put up to Pounds 140 million extra a year into Scottish higher and further education; that 40 per cent of Scottish students will not pay tuition fees; and that repayments would be less than at present.