The Education and Culture Committee has agreed that its scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s forthcoming Draft Budget 2013-14 will focus on the areas of further and higher education. The Committee will also take some evidence in relation to culture.
The draft budget will be the second within the current three year Spending Review period. It can be expected that the proposed 2013-14 budgets will not differ substantially from the allocations set out in the Spending Review.
To build on the Committee’s scrutiny of last year’s draft budget and Spending Review – when it also focussed on further and higher education – the following broad objectives will shape this year’s scrutiny—
- to determine how last year’s final allocations helped the Scottish Government to deliver its policy objectives in this area;
- to identify the progress that remains to be made and how the allocations in this year’s draft budget will help to achieve this;
- to assess how spending on FE and HE is contributing to the Scottish Government’s overarching purpose of increasing sustainable economic growth.
More specifically, the following issues will form the basis for the Committee’s oral evidence-taking—
- the impact of the allocations on FE, including such matters as college places, student support, staff numbers, drop out rates and patterns of course provision, including delivery of the National Training Programmes;
- the impact of the allocations on HE, including such matters as student numbers and country of domicile, applications for places and ‘filling the funding gap’;
- how the sectors are: responding to the challenge of youth unemployment; helping to deliver the ‘opportunities for all’ guarantee; ensuring that students/graduates are able to compete in the labour market;
- commercialisation of HE outputs and the merit of concentrating the Research Excellence Grant on areas of the best quality research;
- in HE, proposals to simplify the student support system and establish the minimum income guarantee;
- how the budget is taking account of the proposed regional college structure and the outcomes based funding models for FE and HE;
- the extent to which equalities considerations have informed decision-making.
Submissions were received from:
The Committee took oral evidence at the following meetings:
- 25 September 2012
- 2 October 2012
- 23 October 2012
Read the Official Reports of the Committee's oral evidence sessions
The Education and Culture Committee published its report, as an annexe to the Finance Committee report, on the 10 December 2012.
The following letter was received from the Scottish Government in response to the report: