Audit sets out challenges ahead

Scotland’s higher education sector is financially healthy but faces future challenges, and tough choices are likely to lie ahead if public funding is to deliver government policy ambitions.

In its first major review of higher education, Audit Scotland reports that the sector is successful and internationally renowned. However, it faces significant challenges from increasing costs, potential further reductions in Scottish Government funding, and risks to universities’ ability to continue increasing income from other sources.

In 2014/15, the Scottish Government provided £1.7 billion to universities and individual students to support its policy ambitions for higher education, including widening access, world-class research and improving innovation.

The report also examines the student population in Scotland. It notes that most students have a positive experience of higher education. However, it also highlights that levels of student debt are growing.

For further information contact Kirsty Gibbins on kgibbins@audit-scotland.gov.uk or 0131 6251658.