Further and higher education in Scotland is to receive a massive boost over the period covered by the comprehensive spending review. In total, the FE and HE budgets will receive an additional £493 million over the period to support further increases in student numbers, promote wider access,
Yes, because as part of the expansion of funding in higher and further education we want to widen access. In particular, we want to focus on those groups that need special assistance. The disabled students allowance, for example, is paid to eligible students in higher education who, as a result of their disability, face extra costs in attending their course. We are also using access funds to tackle particular problems that students face. The total provided for access in 1998-99 was £8.76 million. As part of the partnership agreement between Labour and the Liberal Democrats, that will be increased to £14 million in 2001-02. This is a priority area to which the Executive is giving its full attention.