John Graystone made his stake for extra funding to subsidise "high quality education at a low cost to the public purse" at Wales's 25 FE colleges and institutions as the Assembly's finance committee met last week to set out priorities for an expected tight budget round.
He said funding for Welsh colleges was half that in England and Scotland and an extra pound;50 million was needed to bring Wales in line and up to "world class" standard.
"Wales's colleges are performing better than those in England, despite lower investment and fewer government support agencies they are efficient and are collaborating, benchmarking and critically evaluating where improvements can be made as a sector," he said.
He said tutors' salaries had been raised in line with school teachers' in the past three years but sustaining investment in staff now costs an extra Pounds 15.6m per year from colleges' core budgets.
Funding foundation, page 4