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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 March 2007, 23:45 GMT
Cash to tackle student drop-outs
Extra funding will be made available for universities
Scottish universities are to receive millions of pounds in extra funding in a bid to cut their high drop-out rate.

The most recent figures suggested 11.6% of students were failing to finish courses north of the border, compared to a UK average of 9.5%.

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has asked those with the highest drop-out rates to come up with action plans.

It is offering 10m, a rise of almost 6m, to help universities give more support to less well-off students.

Those from poorer backgrounds are said to be at greater risk of abandoning their courses.

We question the need for redundancies, particularly in view of the increase given to institutions that are threatening job cuts
Alastair Hunter
UCU Scotland president

The funding council has also confirmed that it is scrapping the financial penalty on universities which go over an agreed cap on student numbers in science, engineering and maths courses.

The University and College Union (UCU) said the funding increases should lead to the removal of the threat of redundancies at universities planning job cuts.

UCU Scotland president Alastair Hunter said: "The funding announced today is a real terms increase everywhere.

"We question the need for redundancies, particularly in view of the increase given to institutions that are threatening job cuts.

"There is certainly no need for compulsory redundancies."

Those universities include Dundee, which is planning to reduce the number of departments and cut jobs to address a 1.5m budget deficit, and Strathclyde, which plans to shed 250 jobs over the next three years.

The UCU said their total funding would rise by 8% and 5.7% respectively in the coming year.

Universities call for extra funds
26 Feb 07 |  Scotland
University agrees cutback scheme
19 Feb 07 |  Tayside and Central
University plans to shed 250 jobs
29 Jan 07 |  Glasgow and West
Focus on student drop-out rates
29 Nov 06 |  Scotland

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