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Funding for international education is to double over the next three years.

Ministers confirmed this week that the current level of funding of Pounds 450,000 per annum is to rise to pound;900,000 for 2005-06 and will remain at that level for the subsequent two years.

The decision marks a growing recognition of the impact of international education on attainment and strategies to raise young people's awareness of global citizenship issues, which figure in the Scottish Executive's national priorities for education.

However, the announcement follows a decision to withdraw funding over the next three years from one flagship project, DEIEP (Developing Effective International Educational Practice), which has allowed 16 authorities to send teachers to other countries.

A spokeswoman said: "We can no longer justify allocating funding to DEIEP which is not going to be available to the other local authorities in Scotland. We decided that the time was now right to begin a progressive transfer of responsibility for DEIEP's full running costs to the participating and benefiting local authorities."

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