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Drawing on regional funding of £105 million, Glasgow Kelvin College is delivering a range of courses for some 16,000 students from across north-east Glasgow and beyond. The college has also provided 20 vocational programmes for senior-phase pupils from local communities, including its successful engineering scholarship programme and targeted courses for some of the most vulnerable young people from the Maryhill and Springburn communities.
We awarded Glasgow City Council funding of approximately £18.4 million through the Scotland’s schools for the future programme. That includes £4.2 million for the new Garrowhill primary school, which opened to pupils in January 2015, and £6.1 million for phase 1 of the Clyde campus, which is expected to open in spring 2017.
Glasgow Kelvin College, like many other colleges in Glasgow, has had its number of student places slashed in recent years. The Scottish Government’s decision to slash bursaries by 36 per cent will have a disproportionate effect on the ability of young people in constituencies such as mine to make their way successfully through university and college.
Scottish Labour has pledged to increase the top rate of taxation to provide a fair start fund that will help those young people. What will the Scottish Government do?
I am pleased to report that, as Ms Ferguson knows, the Scottish Government has met its manifesto commitment to exceed 116,000 full-time equivalent college places. I am also pleased to report that, over our term of office, student support funds for Glasgow Kelvin College have gone up by 17 per cent.
In due course, John Swinney will lay out the Government’s spending plans, including our plans for taxation, as is entirely appropriate. The Parliament will be the first to know those plans.