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News in Brief

- Universities should strengthen their efforts to widen access in return for a generous funding settlement, education secretary Michael Russell's guidance letter to the Scottish Funding Council stated last week. University outcome agreements for 2012-13 are due to be published in the coming weeks and will contain individual widening access targets.

- Edinburgh regional college chair Ian McKay is to invite his fellow regional chairs to discuss the formation of a new umbrella body to represent the further education sector. Mr McKay told Holyrood magazine that Scotland's Colleges was "not an organisation that offers the answer for management in FE".

- The Scottish government has published a report by Dr Michael Foxley, chair of West Highland College, into governance at the University of the Highlands and Islands. It recommends that UHI should be the main fundable body in the region, while the new FE regional board should become a formal committee of the UHI board and have delegated power to plan and allocate funding for FE.

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