Friday 18 November 2011

Dundee College - fabulous Gardyne Campus

Later yesterday afternoon, I had a very interesting tour of the fabulous newly opened Gardyne Campus of Dundee College and I am most grateful to the Depute Principal of the college for the guided tour of what is a superb learning facility - see right.

My main reason for the visit was to see the TV facilities, given my interest in the Fife and Tayside television consortium.

Dundee College's new facilities are tremendous but, as I have already highlighted, the Scottish Government is disproportionately cutting college funding - and this will affect the life chances of thousands of local young people.   

In the forthcoming period, Scotland’s block grant from Westminster for the period represents a cash increase of 1.9%.   The way in which the Scottish Government has chosen to distributed these slightly increased funds is as follows in cash terms:

Local authorities     -5.2%
Universities     +14.6%
Colleges     -13.6%

Despite having slightly more cash (albeit a real terms cut given the challenges of budget deficit) from Westminster, the SNP government has chosen to cut colleges disproportionately, with a 13.6% cash cut representing a real terms cut of around 20%.   This comes on the back of both colleges and universities having had a 10.4% cash cut this year - 2011/12.   Over the 4 year period (including this year), total college budgets will have reduced in cash terms by almost 25%.   


Willie Rennie MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, has already called on the First Minister to use the Barnett consequentials of the English Council Tax freeze (£67 million) to plug the college funding gap.   Time for the SNP government to act.