Date lodged: 21 September 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what analysis it has carried out of the impact of changes to the reported reduction of part-time courses in the further education sector.
Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 29 September 2016
Over the last Parliament, colleges maintained our 2011 commitment to deliver 116,000 Full-time Equivalent college places. We are continuing this commitment, focused on purposeful, job-focused learning.
Short courses leading to work or progression are still available, with the number of part-time college enrolments in Higher (HE) and Further Education (FE) remaining stable since 2012-13.
We recognise that part-time courses are often favoured by older learners and female returners: our analysis shows these groups are well represented in the college sector. In 2014-15, 27% of all learning hours were delivered to students aged 25 and over, representing an investment of over £100 million. Additionally, in the same year there were over twice the number of part-time female learners in Scotland’s colleges as there were full-time female learners.