Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has praised an announcement from the Scottish Government that will see an additional £61m worth of funding to colleges that will also see an increase to the amount of support available to students for further education.
“This is great news for both colleges and for students. The additional money will be used to improve attainment rates, increase places, help with the integration of college mergers and provide additional bursaries and childcare support. The increase in student bursaries will mean more money in the pockets of our hard pressed students in these tough economic times.
“Access to education is essential to ensure we have a skilled population able to meet the demands of our economy, securing the future prosperity of Scotland. Therefore, it is crucial we support our students and remove the sort of financial barriers, such as tuition fees, that would prevent those with the ability to learn, the chance to gain qualifications.
“Last week in Parliament, I attended an event in Parliament for YouthLink Scotland’s Youth Worker of the Year Awards 2013. Youth Workers do incredible work including helping young people to discover their skills and also to gain some practical experience through project work. This helps young people decide what career path to pursue and our free education system, along with the best student support packages in the UK, helps to ensure our young people can achieve their potential and make a positive contribution to society.
“While full time courses for younger people remain a priority, this announcement from the Scottish Government will mean there will be more learning opportunities for older and part time students, including women returning to study. This is another incredibly import area as it is important that people returning to work are able to have access to educational and training opportunities to equip them with the skills required to gain employment and progress with their careers.”
Photo is of Linda at the YouthLink Scotland Event
The Scottish Government and Scottish Funding Council have set out how the £61 million of additional funding added to college budgets for 2013-15 will be spent.
Focusing on improving attainment, the additional investment over the next academic year (2013-14) includes:
* £1.9 million for additional student support through bursaries and childcare
* £2.1 million targeted for some college regions to meet increased demand
* £6.6 million for an additional learner places, including for women returning to study and part time places
* £4 million to aid the successful integration of newly merging colleges.