Boost for budgets

1st October 2004 at 01:00
Spending on colleges and universities is to rise by more than 30 per cent over the three years to 2007-2008. New buildings and equipment and higher pay for university lecturers are likely to top the spending priorities.

The Scottish Executive's budget for the next three financial years, revealed by Andy Kerr, Finance and Public Services Minister, on Wednesday, will see continued strong support for schools as Executive spending overall rises from pound;25 billion to pound;30 billion. Mr Kerr promised that every school will have access to fresh chilled water and better school meals.

He reinforced existing pledges on new school buildings, the recruitment of more teachers and cuts in class sizes.

But it is FE and HE that will benefit most. College spending will rise from pound;474 million to pound;619 million, while university spending will leap to pound;1.027 billion from pound;787 million. Rates of increase are similar in both sectors.

Mr Kerr said: "We will deliver a fourfold increase in capital investment in our colleges and universities, investing in better facilities, new equipment and the benefits brought by new technology."

He also promised to invest to "retain and reward the best university staff" and invest in research excellence.

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