Local colleges could turn students away because of a “huge shortfall” of more than £11 million in financial support, it has been claimed.
The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) announced it was making an additional £3.5m available to colleges for student support in the current academic year even though a total of £14.7m had been requested to top up bursary and childcare funds.
Dundee and Angus College asked for £800,000 but will receive £160,000, Fife College £1.27m with £254,000 heading to the region, while Perth College dubbed a “priority” by SFC requested £710,000 only to be allocated £210,281.
Dundee and Angus principal Christina Potter said: “We are disappointed to only receive 20% of what we asked for but understand that this is in line with other colleges.”
Robert Foster, National Union of Students Scotland vice-president for education, called the figures “extremely worrying”.
Scottish Liberal Democrat Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Willie Rennie said: “This situation is magnified in Fife where the college now faces over £1 million of unmet demand for bursaries thanks to the Scottish Government’s raid.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman insisted students are receiving more financial support than ever before.
She added: “It is not at all unusual for requests for additional funding to exceed the amount available for re-allocation.
“We would expect colleges, as they have done in the past, to do everything possible to ensure students are not disadvantaged.”