Colleges are vital to our economic growth and success, providing students with skills to help them into jobs and creating the highly-trained workforce that employers need. They are also a major employer in their own right.
- committed to protecting 116,000 full-time equivalent college places
- strengthening college governance and making boards more accountable
- running a national programme to improve student attainment and retention rates
- providing financial support to students, particularly those who need it most, as well as carrying out a review of the support system to ensure it is fair and effective
- developing a £500,000 innovation fund to support colleges to work with businesses on innovation activity
- examining how we might improve the college application process as part of a wider review of the 15 to 24 learner journey
- working with partners through the Equally Safe in Further and Higher Education Working Group to ensure colleges are safe places to study
We provide overall strategic direction to Scotland's colleges, which are classed as public bodies and grouped into 13 regions.
Ministerial priorities are set out in an annual letter of guidance for colleges. This includes placing greater emphasis on college courses that lead to employment.
Funding is distributed by the Scottish Funding Council and each college region must produce an outcome agreement setting out what it plans to deliver in return for this.
Bills and legislation
The Post-16 Education (Scotland) Act 2013 put in place a number of measures to change the way colleges are governed and structured and create better job chances for students.
To access information that was on the previous website see the archive of colleges content.
Telephone: 0300 244 4000
Advanced Learning and Science Directorate
5 Atlantic Quay