The enterprise and lifelong learning committee, which will cover colleges and universities, held its first meeting on Wednesday under the chairmanship of John Swinney, deputy SNP leader and MSP for North Tayside.
The committee memberships were announced last week along with the distribution of conveners among the parties. Ms Mulligan, aged 39, has no specific educational background, having been chair of Edinburgh's housing committee, while Mr Swinney, who is 35, was SNP finance spokesman before the election.
The 11-member education committee is made up of five Labour MSPs (Ms Mulligan, Cathy Peattie, Karen Gillon, Kenneth Macintosh, and Ian Welsh), three SNP members (Fiona McLeod, Michael Russell and Nicola Sturgeon), two Liberal Democrats (Ian Jenkins and Jamie Stone), and one Tory (Brian Monteith).
The enterprise and lifelong learning committee comprises five Labour MSPs (Marilyn Livingston, Duncan McNeil, Elaine Murray, Elaine Thomson and Allan Wilson), three SNP members (Mr Swinney, Fergus Ewing and Margo MacDonald), two Tories (Annabel Goldie and Nick Johnston), and one Liberal Democrat (George Lyon).