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College student numbers still 40% lower than when SNP took charge

30 Jan 2018

Liz Smith (2)

The number of Scottish college students is still 40 per cent lower than when the SNP came to government, with part-time students still 51 per cent lower, according to the Scottish Funding Council.

College Statistics 2016-17 shows that, despite small increases since last year, the number of college students, particularly part-time students, remains dramatically lower than in 2007.

Since 2007 college numbers have fallen 38 per cent to just 235,737 and the number of college enrolments has fallen to 291,849; a decline of 40 per cent.

In addition, the number of part time college students has fallen by 51 per cent to just 195,125, since 2007.

Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary Liz Smith said:

“While the slight increase in student numbers from last year is to be welcomed, it is a fraction of the deep decline that persists since the SNP came to government.

“The consistently low number of part-time students is the most concerning.

“Part-time students are crucial to the flexibility of the economy and access to courses is vital for those trying to balance work and study.

“Each year colleges help prepare thousands of people for the world of work by giving them the skills they need but the SNP has chosen to implement huge cuts to the college sector.

“Scotland’s colleges are among the best in Britain at equipping our youth with the necessary skills to succeed.

“The SNP must support this sector for the benefit of students and the economy.”