College Mergers Can’t Distract from SNP Cuts

Thursday, August 1st, 2013 @ 11:35AM

Responding to the creation of four new regional colleges, Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kezia Dugdale MSP, said:

“Saving money by merging colleges sounds fine on paper, but we know that Audit Scotland doubt whether the estimated savings will actually materialise. I hope for the sake of students that they do, otherwise college students will continue to pay the price for the sector being the poor cousin to higher education under the SNP.

“These mergers have been rushed through by the SNP in a desperate attempt to try to reduce the impact of their £50 million cut to the college budget.

“The name of a college and it’s management structure are minor issues when compared to how our colleges serve their communities. They are now closed to adult learners and mothers wanting to retrain. College staffing numbers have been slashed along with courses, leaving thousands of young Scots sat on waiting lists unable to get a place.

“It is therefore understandable that Mike Russell wants to divert attention away from his college cuts. Shiny new name plates and logos can’t disguise the dramatic cuts our further education sector has suffered and that for too many in our communities, they are no longer places to go to learn new skills and retrain.”

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