24th May 2018
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Concerns over Shetland College funding to be raised with education minister

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Cuts in funding mean Shetland College will have to reduce the number of courses it offers and it is at risk from centralisation, according to isles MSP Tavish Scott.

Along with college board chairman Allan Wishart and director David Gray, he is meeting education minister Mike Russell tomorrow to raise “a number of concerns”.

“The government’s budget figures show that the spend on colleges has taken a large hit compared to the proposals for universities; £40 million has been cut from college funding nationally.

The Scottish government’s settlement favours one part of post-16 education at the direct expense of another.

“I am concerned that the college cuts will reduce the number of non-certified courses open to Shetlanders and that the impact on the range of subjects on offer will affect those trying to prepare themselves for work.  NUS Scotland’s research shows that the current college support budget is not enough to meet demand; no surprise to students in Shetland I am sure.

“Not content with reducing college budgets, the Scottish government are also looking to centralise control. Their regionalisation plans could mean that Shetland College would be controlled from elsewhere.

“I want to press the government to find the additional funds it requires to preserve Shetland College’s courses and student numbers.”

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