Welsh colleges face tight budget squeeze

9th May 1997 at 01:00
Colleges in Wales are facing cuts of up to 10 per cent under tight budget allocations published this week.

About one-quarter of the 26 FE colleges in the principality face a cash cut this year, echoing the budget squeeze in England, where eight out of 10 colleges will lose out.

The biggest losers are Coleg Harlech, the trade union college, which faces a 10 per cent cut, and Ystrad Mynach College which will lose 6.5 per cent.

But the Further Education Funding Council for Wales has proposed a new cash-limited fund for college growth, the Growth Incentive Fund, which will be paid for out of next year's public expenditure settlement. English colleges, by contrast, will have no leeway to expand in the new capped budget.

The details of the allocations will add fuel to the anger over Welsh college funding.

Earlier this year, 19 of the 26 college chairs wrote to then Welsh Secretary William Hague demanding a complete rethink on funding, arguing that they need to find savings of around 20 per cent to compensate for capital spending.

The squeeze has already hit parts of the Welsh FE sector, with Gwent tertiary college cutting nine jobs to fend off a deficit of up to Pounds 5 million.

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