Lews Castle College struggles to attract required students

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Funding for Lews Castle College UHI will decrease following the news that the college has failed to attract the required student numbers.

The Auditor General for Scotland, Caroline Gardner, has reported to the Scottish Parliament that the college has only achieved 80.5 per cent of its target for 2015/16.

In the report the reasons for the under performance at the college included the national policy focus on full-time courses leading to employment and on provision for young people which affected Lews Castle Colleg’s ability to meet targets.

Previously the college also catered for a larger proportion of part-time learners and older learners.

The college also indicated that a changing local demography, particularly a reduction in the number of young people, had contributed to the difficulty in delivering the target.

The report concluded that the college needs to take steps to agree an appropriate activity target with UHI, and to make adjustments to its cost base to match this.

However a statement from the college this week centred on the positive, revealing that the College has already agreed with the UHI Further Education Regional Board a reduction in its credit target for 2017-18, to a level that is realistic and achievable.

Although this will result in a decrease in funding of around 4.8% for 2017-18, it is believed this reduction is manageable.