Holyrood challenge over half million ‘underfunding’ of Moray College

MORAY COLLEGE IS being underfunded by around half a million pounds according to an exchange in the Scottish Parliament this week.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead raised the issue with the minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP.

Mr Lochhead is seeking a review of the allocation formula used by the University of the Highlands and Islands, who allocate funding to Moray College UHI based on grant funding from the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council.

He told Ms Somerville: “The minister may be aware that Moray College UHI, which is in my constituency, has provided evidence that after the regional strategic body has divided the funds among the various colleges, Moray College is underfunded by about 10%, which equates to about £500,000 in its budget.

“I understand that the Scottish funding council is giving technical support to review the allocation formula.

“I would be grateful if the minister investigated the issue – it is clear that the college has been underfunded recently and I hope that the formula can be fixed so that that does not continue.

“For Moray College UHI to develop new degrees and continue to do its good work, it must have an equitable share of the funding.”

In her response the minister confirmed that “active discussions” over the issue were taking place: “The distribution of funding for UHI colleges is a matter for the regional strategic body, UHI.

“I understand that UHI remains in active discussion with Moray College on its funding for future years and is waiting for further material from the college to move the process forward.

“I am sure that UHI will want an equitable settlement for the colleges across its region that is consistent with the envelope of funding that is available. Since the matter is more for UHI, I will ask it to respond directly to Richard Lochhead with further details and keep him updated.”