Page last updated at 13:37 GMT, Friday, 26 February 2010

Higher education budget revealed

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Funding for higher education in England has been cut by 5%

More than £1.7bn of funding is to be given to Scotland's colleges and universities next year, the education secretary has announced.

Michael Russell said the deal was "more than fair."

Universities will receive a total of £1.076bn for 2010-11 while colleges will get £692.7m.

The deal gives universities £40m more and colleges an extra £45m compared to this year, the Scottish government said.

The announcement was welcomed by the body which represents the country's college principals.

The Scottish government is choosing to invest more in tertiary education at the same time when funding for higher education in England is being cut
Linda McTavish
Scotland's Colleges Principals' Convention

Mr Russell confirmed the details in a letter to the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) which will distribute the money.

In his letter, Mr Russell said the budget was "the highest since devolution" and urged the SFC to focus on some "key priorities" when awarding the cash, including maintaining the response to the high demand for places at colleges and universities.

The importance of making efficiencies was also highlighted, with Mr Russell saying these would be "necessary across Scotland as a result of the inevitable financial constraints on public spending we shall face in years ahead".

He added: "Our funding for the SFC reflects our dedication to helping the sectors maintain the quality and excellence for which they are properly renowned."

Linda McTavish, the convener of Scotland's Colleges Principals' Convention, said the £692.7m for colleges was "welcome news for the large number of students expected to be applying for places in 2010".

'Tough choices'

She added: "College principals are well aware that with an increased squeeze on public spending, Scottish ministers are facing tough choices when it comes to where their money is spent.

"The Scottish government is choosing to invest more in tertiary education at the same time when funding for higher education in England is being cut by almost 5%.

"This shows the importance the government and cabinet secretary attach to having well-resourced and financed colleges able to deliver high quality services to Scottish students."



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SEE ALSO
University budget cuts revealed
01 Feb 10 |  Education
Funding change for universities
02 Oct 09 |  Scotland
Cash to increase college places
04 Jun 09 |  Scotland
Colleges to get funding increase
17 Apr 09 |  Scotland

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