Today at First Minister’s Questions I asked if the SNP government would use some of the £67 million of extra funding they have received from our government at Westminster to fill the £40 million college funding gap.
The SNP took the decision to cut college funding, which could threaten nearly 9000 student places next year and compromise the depth and quality of the subjects on offer.
Liberals have always understood the importance of colleges in giving people, no matter what their background, the opportunity to gain the skills needed for secure, well paid jobs.
As such, we have offered a solution to the SNP government – use the extra money to protect college places.
The First Minister did not commit to doing this today, so it is up to us to keep the pressure up and stand up for Scotland’s colleges.
Leader, Scottish Liberal Democrats
At last Friday’s meeting at the University of Abertay Dundee on the future of post-16 education in Scotland, I stressed the need to reverse the SNP college funding cuts and I view Willie Rennie’s highlighting this at FMQs today as very helpful. The SNP college cuts amount to a staggered £40 million. It is estimated that 9000 student places are at risk next year due to these cuts. There must be pressure put on the SNP to back Scotland’s colleges in the run up to the budget before these cuts have a lasting impact on the quality and depth of courses on offer.