The difficult decisions colleges, including those serving the Highlands and Islands, are now being obliged to take to balance their own budgets for next year derive directly from Westminster’s cut of £1.3 billion in the Scottish block grant. We have asked colleges to proceed in a way that minimises impact on the learner. We have also written to the principal of every college in Scotland seeking an assurance that the college will seek to avoid compulsory redundancies.
Decisions on how and where courses are delivered are a matter entirely for the college concerned. However, ministers were greatly encouraged that the college sector has agreed to maintain in 2011-12 the number of core student places.