Colleges Scotland - Comment on the Draft Scottish Budget

The Draft Scottish Budget announced today (Thursday, 15 December 2022) gives colleges nearly a 4% increase to their revenue funding for 2023/24, albeit against the background of inflation at 10.1% and previous reductions, which will still necessitate tough decisions to be made by colleges across the country.

Capital investment will rise to £82.4million from £74.7million, representing an
increase of around 10%.

Andy Witty, Director of Sector Policy at Colleges Scotland said: “Today Scottish Government has
recognised the vital role of colleges in assisting in the economic recovery, alleviating poverty and
mitigating climate change. This change in direction of travel from the Scottish Government follows
many months of discussions led by Colleges Scotland on behalf of our members, stressing the
need to put students first, and setting out how colleges are critical to delivery on a host of Scottish
Government priorities.

“Colleges continue to face difficult financial situations, and we appreciate Scottish Ministers are
dealing with severe and challenging circumstances, but we look forward to continuing dialogue with Scottish Government in order to see firstly stability, then sustainability for the sector. We will work closely with Scottish Government and other partners to make sure that through a period of transition, colleges are still able to play their part locally, regionally and nationally in the delivery of a fairer and more equal society.

Andy Witty added: “Colleges are the powerhouses of Scotland’s economy. Our skilled graduates
contribute billions to Scotland’s economy each year, across hugely diverse industries, in every
community from Kirkwall to Dumfries. Investment in colleges delivers significant gains for Scotland
as a nation and allows colleges to support students at every stage of their learning journey, from
part of their school experience to upskilling and re-training. Colleges want to enhance this offer and
accelerate the opportunities available to students and employers across the country.”