COLLEGES in Wales face substantial cuts at a time of rising enrolments, according to funding council figures released this week.
A total of pound;163.5 million will be distributed to the Welsh further education sector in 19989, compared to pound;161.5m the previous year. This is a 1.5 per cent increase, but the number of funded full-time equivalent students is to rise by 6.2 per cent. The standard unit of funding for 199899 has been reduced by 5 per cent on the 199798 level.
Jeff Cocks, chair of the Welsh colleges' association, Fforwm, said: "These are significant cuts. Funding for estates is also included for the first time so it is even worse. This is all on top of cuts in previous years."
Additional funding will be made available to institutions who show they are tackling the priorities of the funding council and the Government to widen participation, tackle social exclusion and contribute to economic prosperity.
John Andrews, chief executive of the Further Education Funding Council for Wales, said the funding round had been the tightest yet. "The relatively small increase in funding, when coupled with the requirement on the sector to increase enrolments, will add to the pressure for efficiency gains already faced by institutions.
"The lifelong learning agenda will increase the pressure over the next year. Nevertheless, the council has demonstrated its commitment to the Secretary of State's priorities and we are confident that FE institutions will rise to the challenge."
Glan Hafren pound;8,652,012
Merthyr Tydfil pound;3,179,762
St David's pound;2,252,182
WEA North pound;375,771
WEA South pound;950,279
Ystrad Mynach pound;4,567,899
Universities and sponsored organisations received a total of pound;3,196,210