The total number of students at college in Scotland has fallen by more than 120,000 in the five years since the SNP came to power, but the number on full-time courses has risen by 19 per cent. This is from the Times…
There were a 257,913 full and part-time students at college in 2011-12, down 121,320 from 2007-08, Scottish Funding Council figures show.
Over the five-year period, the number of people studying full-time at college rose by 19 per cent, to stand at 81,373 last year.
The Scottish government highlighted the record number of 16 to 24-year-olds on a full-time, funded college course in 2011-12, at 61,304.
But the opposition criticised the overall fall in student numbers. The government was “trying to hide the shameful reality of 121,000 fewer students in our colleges compared to when the SNP came to power”, said Hugh Henry for Labour, adding that there had been “massive cuts in the numbers of part-time students which is hitting hardest in our poorest communities”.
The figures show that the Scottish government’s commitment to maintaining student numbers so that colleges have the equivalent of 116,000 full-time students has been exceeded, with the equivalent of 119,448 full-time learners in 2011-12.
Mike Russell, the Scottish Education Secretary, hailed the figures as “excellent news” for colleges.