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Comment on SFC’s College Infrastructure Strategy

Today (Thursday 24 November 2022), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has published the College Infrastructure Strategy. Colleges Scotland has worked closely with the SFC to develop this strategy over the last 12 months to ensure that it recognises the severe challenges facing college campuses across the country.

Scotland’s college students and staff deserve to learn and work in high quality facilities. Training the workforce of the future and meeting the needs of employers can only be done if the learning environment is appropriate, sustainable, and fit for purpose.

The strategy marks the first stage of an ongoing process to secure clear, consistent investment in Scotland’s college estates. As well as day-to-day repairs, colleges need a roadmap to provide future world class learning facilities that students require and deserve. At the moment, many college buildings require significant investment to even be wind and watertight.

Andy Witty, Director of Sector Policy, welcomed the publication. He said: “The strategy provides a starting point for Scotland’s colleges, many of which badly need investment. Some colleges, because of the lack of investment in estates, struggle on a daily basis to provide the good, high-quality facilities that students and staff should expect.

“The SFC and the Scottish Government now need to work collaboratively with colleges to identify and initiate a clear framework for future investment through the next phase of this work, which includes the development of the Infrastructure Investment Plan.”

As part of the public sector, all 26 colleges in Scotland have to reach Net-Zero targets by 2045, which will require significant retrofitting and finding alternative sustainable energy sources. Colleges also need sustained investment in digital technology and equipment for students to receive the best experience while they are at college.

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