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NUS calls for more FE funding in Scottish Budget

The Scottish government must do more to protect colleges in its upcoming budget, student union NUS Scotland has warned.

Although Scotland’s draft Budget for 2013/2014 outlines £17m more than previously planned for colleges, they will still see a budget cut of around £34.6m compared with the previous year.

According to Robin Parker, NUS Scotland President, the cuts come at the wrong time with high youth unemployment in the country.

“These proposals aren’t good enough and more needs to be done for college students across Scotland between now and the final Budget,” said Parker.

“A year ago students sent over 80,000 emails to MSPs to remind them of the vital role that colleges play in Scotland, the whole Parliament listened, and the Government put the brakes on their initial plans to cut colleges.

“It’s welcome news that the Scottish Government have managed to find £17m for colleges above initial plans, and we understand this will protect student support and protect college places. We will look closely at proposals to confirm this over the coming time.”

NUS Scotland did, however, welcome provisions in the draft Budget to ringfence FE student support at £95.6m, the same level for the final Budget 2012/13.

Parker added: “Aside from colleges there is a great deal in this budget which we welcome. Maintaining the EMA, increased funding for student support for higher education to make the system the best in the UK, no tuition fees, increases in university funding, and a guarantee for 16 – 19 year olds that they’ll have access to education or training is all very good news.”

Natalie Thornhill

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