Scottish colleges face a widening funding gap according to the latest Audit Scotland report released today (Tuesday).
The report, Scotland’s Colleges 2019, states that the “gap between colleges’ income and expenditure is widening and this is forecast to continue.”
In addition, the report states that colleges will face increasing cost pressures as the current Scottish Government capital funding, “falls short of the estimated costs of maintaining the college estate.”
The report also notes that this lack of funds poses a “potential risk” to colleges’ ability to deliver “core services in a safe environment” and digital improvements that would “generate efficiencies and enhance the student experience.”
Lastly, the report states that, based on current trends, the attainment gap target “looks difficult to achieve”, with current attainment rates “some distance from targets”.
Liz Smith, Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary said:
“This report makes very clear, yet again, the extent of the financial difficulties facing the college sector under the SNP.
“‘It tells us the gap between colleges’ income and expenditure is widening with the prospect of that worsening in the years ahead and that the college estate needs maintenance well beyond the current government spend.
“At a time when the attainment gap is also increasing, that places huge pressure on colleges to deliver the quality of education students and staff have a right to expect which is a major wake-up call for the SNP.”