MillionPlus response to SFC review of sustainability and coherent provision

24 Aug 2020

Modern universities make up a vital component of the higher education landscape in Scotland and their reach is wide in every possible sense of the word. All seven modern universities in Scotland, representing 37% of students at Scottish universities, are members of MillionPlus. 

They are:

  • Abertay University
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • The University of the Highlands and Islands
  • Queen Margaret University
  • Robert Gordon University
  • The University of the West of Scotland

Between them, these universities have campuses that span the breadth of Scotland from Ayr to Aberdeen, from Musselburgh to Moray.

The sustainability of these institutions is of utmost importance to Scotland as a nation and to the students and communities that they serve. The Scottish tertiary education sector is typified by diversity and a variety of missions, giving it characteristic and unique strengths. Any SFC review needs to acknowledge and protect this valuable diversity and variety. Scotland’s universities are major contributors to the social, economic and cultural life of the nation, providing highly qualified graduates to drive forward businesses and public bodies, creating platform for innovation, research and knowledge exchange, while acting as vital civic anchors and major employers.

The Scottish Funding Council and the Scottish government should adopt new approaches for its public investment in universities, colleges, and specialist institutions, both in terms of the total amount, and the way it administers that investment.  These approaches should include:

  • the use of multi-year funding agreements with universities, colleges and specialist institutions;
  • respect for the institutional autonomy of universities, valuing their diverse missions;
  • reducing excessive administration (through a simpler-and more effective-Outcome Agreement process);
  • investing in capital infrastructure(including IT), to enable high-quality blended learning; 
  • encouraging regional collaboration between institutions, through SFC investment, based on a ‘bottom-up’ ascertainment of local needs.

Download MillionPlus response to SFC review of sustainability and coherent provision August 2020 »