Scottish Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP has today demanded the Scottish Funding Council’s board remain intact after a debate in Parliament this afternoon saw the government defeated over its centralisation plans.
During the debate Mr Scott warned that the Crerar Review recommendations were dangerous for the academic independence and autonomy of universities. They would give Scottish Ministers power over policy and spending of agencies including the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Mr Scott said:
“This SNP Government is hell-bent on concentrating powers into their own hands. Today Parliament has, for the second time, given the Government its orders: drop this centralisation plan immediately.
“Throughout the Enterprise and Skills review, MSPs and experts have raised serious concerns about the future of the SFC and the threat centralisation poses to our world-class higher and further education.
“Universities Scotland have warned the plans threatens the autonomy of our universities. This ministerial power grab threatens the independence of the SFC.”