Colleges: Tripartite Alignment Group minutes - 31 August 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the Scottish Government group held on 31 August 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Graeme Dey, MSP, Minister for Higher Education, Further Education, and Veterans, Scottish Government
  • Stuart Greig (Chair), Scottish Government
  • Katherine Peskett, Scottish Government
  • Jess Dolan, Scottish Government
  • Andrew Mott, Scottish Government
  • Liz Hawkins, Scottish Government
  • Fraser Syme, Scottish Government
  • Karen Watt, Scottish Funding Council
  • Lynne Raeside, Scottish Funding Council
  • Martin Boyle, Scottish Funding Council
  • Richard Maconachie, Scottish Funding Council
  • Andy Witty, Colleges Scotland
  • Simon Hewitt (Dundee & Angus College), Colleges Scotland
  • Alan Williamson (Edinburgh College), Colleges Scotland 

Items and actions

Update on actions from the previous meeting

College asset disposals: Colleges Scotland are in the process of collating data on unused assets and discussion in the group highlighted the potential numbers across the sector. SG still awaiting a response from UK Government. The group discussed the need for the new disposals guidance to be easily understood


  • Colleges Scotland to feed responses from colleges  into the Structural Infrastructure Survey and will chase up the colleges who have not yet responded
  • Colleges Scotland will help raise the profile of this group through the College Principals Group (next meeting is early September). SG can attend if helpful
  • SFC will set up a Sharepoint site that can be used and updated by SFC, Colleges Scotland and SG
  • SG will pick up with Treasury directly given the delay in receiving a response from UK Government contacts
  • Colleges Scotland will test thinking around the optimum split for the retention of the sale of an asset at their next Finance Directors meeting
  • SG will develop a project brief on asset disposals and share around the group

Development of methodology for establishing the true cost of teaching in colleges: SFC have commissioned consultants to develop a costing model and noted this will be a test case with one college and there is considerable variation across the sector.


  • SFC will develop a project brief which will outline the objectives and the caveats of the project and will also manage expectations (i.e. it might highlight issues which cannot be resolved)

Discussion on priorities and next steps 

Discussion on the need to develop a timeline of critical points across the year and how these intersect.


  • Colleges Scotland will develop a timeline. A follow-up bespoke session will then be set up to discuss further
  • SG will draft a message from the Minister regarding the work of the group which Colleges Scotland will circulate to the sector

Next meeting

13 October 2023


Tripartite Alignment Group

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