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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-18511: Bill Bowman (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 3 September 2018

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answers to question S5O-02225 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 13 June 2018 and S5W-18074 by John Swinney on 29 August 2018, for what reason the former Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science suggested that part-time courses were often five hours long in light of the ratio of learning hours for courses over 10 hours to learning hours for courses under 10 hours in 2016-17 being 116:1 for all SFC-funded part-time college courses, and what value it attaches to part-time courses over 10 hours.

Answered by: Richard Lochhead 18 September 2018

The answer to S5O-02225 stated that it is the short courses de-prioritised by the Scottish Funding Council which were often around 5 hours in length and did not lead to recognised qualifications. 97.4% of learning hours were delivered on courses that led to a recognised qualification in 2016-17 – an 8.7 percentage point increase since 2006-07.

The Scottish Government attaches great value to short courses leading to employment or progression, with colleges making a vital contribution to the up-skilling and re-skilling Scotland’s workforce. That is why the majority of total enrolments at college are still on part-time courses - 73% in 2016-17.