Full-time NESCol places likely to be cut due to budget concerns


COLLEGE places in the North-east are likely to be cut this year, while voluntary severance may also be considered, as budget pressures take their toll.

North-east Scotland College (NESCol) delivers around 6,000 full-time courses across the region, but funding constraints have meant the college has already been forced to cut the number of full-time places.

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There were around 300 fewer places in the current academic year compared to the previous, and it’s likely that number will be less come the 2024/25 academic year.

Nearly 40% of school leavers in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire went to NESCol, but in an email from college principal Neil Cowie, he warns the budget cut will limit the flow of people entering the region’s workforce at a “crucial time”.

Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary and North East MSP Liam Kerr has commented on the news. He said: 

“These warnings from NESCol are extremely worrying and emphasise the disastrous consequences that the SNP’s tax-and-axe budget will have on education across the North East.

“It’s shocking that despite being one of the best performing colleges in Scotland, NESCol faces a 9% real terms reduction in funding.

“With demand for college places continuing to rise, the prospect of having to cut a significant number is a serious blow to the future of our young people, our workforce and employers.

“From the energy sector to hospitality, these cuts will have a drastic impact on skilled apprentices coming through the pipeline from institutions like NESCol.

“Our young people should not be forced to stop their further education – but that will be the reality facing students if they can’t get places.

“It’s high time the SNP prioritised youngsters and gave NESCol the funding it needs to allow the North East to continue to prosper.”

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