South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has revealed a cut in college student numbers over the last ten years under the SNP Scottish Government.

It comes as the latest student headcount figures published by the Scottish Funding Council for 2017/18 show that the number of students enrolled at Dumfries and Galloway College is 6,566. This is 40% drop from the 10,866 students enrolled in 2008/09.

The headcount figures mean there are over 4,000 less student places at our local college compared with ten years ago.

Colin Smyth MSP said, “This cut in college places in Dumfries and Galloway is a huge betrayal to young people here. With most of our young people looking to continue their learning, but not at university when they leave school a cut in college places reduces the opportunities for young people in Dumfries and Galloway.

We also have to consider that a reduction in college places also means there a fewer spaces, and fewer subjects for adults who want to return to education to gain new skills. We have a number of challenges facing our local economy with young people leaving the area, low pay and recent economic shocks.

Our colleges play a huge role in education and our economy and a 40% cut in college places under this SNP Scottish Government has had a huge effect on local people and our economy. The Scottish Government must re-invest in our colleges to allow more students and see a real benefit for the local economy.”

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