Mike Pringle MSP and student groups have welcomed major concessions on further education funding secured by the Scottish Liberal Democrats in this years budget.
"This is a better budget than it was in November. It's better for young people wanting the skills they and we need for the economy. It's better for colleges across Scotland that will able to provide more opportunities. And it's better for businesses that will have more opportunities to take on apprentices. 40,000 students were going to have their budgets slashed by the Government, but this has been reversed.
Commenting Liam Burns, President of NUS Scotland added:
"This is great news and testament to the hard work of thousands of college students across Scotland. Students across colleges and universities have mobilised fantastically well, with over 32,000 letters and emails sent to MSPs on this issue. To win £15m college bursaries, and £8m for college places, in a budget which is being cut is a fantastic result. We hope this will now end the yearly ritual of college bursaries running out and end the threat of cuts to 40,000 of our poorest students"
Concessions made by the Scottish Government include:
Additional funding for Further Education bursaries of £15 million, spread across 2010-2011-12 to provide additional student support for current student numbers.
Additional funding of £8 million in 2011-12 that would support an additional 1,200 college places and associated student support.
1,500 additional Modern Apprenticeships, including 500 places for the renewables sector, at a cost of £2 million
2,000 additional flexible training opportunities
Funding of £1 million for the operation of a further Post Office Diversification Scheme in 2011-12