It should be the objective of public policy to secure not a regional approach to higher education provision throughout Scotland, but an approach that determines that quality education provision is available throughout Scotland to everyone who has the ability to access it. We can, and do, secure quality provision in the range of institutions that we fund in Scotland through the Scottish funding council. The reason why we are in the process of establishing the UHI and why our funding for rural provision is higher than our funding for urban provision is that those are means by which we can ensure that quality
For the first time at the Crichton campus, there will be the potential to deliver engineering and science courses in collaboration with Dumfries and Galloway College, which is a major advance. Dumfries and Galloway College's co-location at Crichton is continuing to progress, supported by the Scottish funding council's £28 million investment. That funding has been provided to the college for the relocation, and to the Crichton partners for shared facilities, such as the new library, which is an important factor in the introduction of honours courses. Other possibilities for co-location and sharing of facilities will be explored.