Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP has today set out plans to invest £108 million a year in colleges as he meets students in Aberdeen, saying his party will restore funding slashed after years of further education cuts by the SNP.
The boost, funded through the Liberal Democrat penny for education policy, will restore further education funding in real terms to 2010-11, when SNP cuts to the sector began.
Speaking in Aberdeen this afternoon Mr Rennie said: “I want Scottish education to be the best in the world again. That means Scotland’s colleges need to be built back up to what they were before the SNP began butchering further education budgets.
“152,000 college places have been lost over the past nine years. Potential students who can only study part-time because they are parents, carers or have a job, have lost out. Women in particular have seen their opportunities disproportionately cut. College lecturers and support staff have lost their jobs.
“The Liberal Democrat penny for education will restore years of cuts by investing an additional £108 million a year in colleges.
“That investment will give a huge funding boost to colleges so they can train more people to go on and get good careers. They will be able to open up new courses, recruit new students and help stop the skills shortage faced by many Scottish businesses.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats are proud of our bold and positive proposals that will help get Scotland fit for the future. At their heart is the change for everyone to reach their potential, no matter where they’re from.”