Colleges only get a fraction of the money they need to support their students. Scottish colleges asked the Scottish Funding Council for £21.3 million, to meet the increased demands for bursaries caused by the increase in people going to college this year – £17.1 million for students who started courses in September and £4.2 million for new students starting in January. They have only been given £11.9 million.
Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie said that she was very concerned about the impact on Forth Valley College students.
“The funding gap for Forth Valley student bursaries is over £26,000. Without further action from the Scottish Government, students may be forced to drop-out half way through their course due to financial hardship – or be unable to start in January,
“This comes on top of existing funding difficulties, with colleges taking money from childcare and hardship funds to plug the gap created by the huge demand for bursaries. I have also had reports of courses being under threat.
“The money which has been announced does not address the existing funding gap, and I am concerned that childcare and hardship funds may run dry again this year despite this money.
“Colleges are essential to Scotland’s economic recovery and in his new Cabinet Secretary role, it is up to Mike Russell to ensure that the sector and students are properly funded.”