Opportunity and inclusive growth in a time of challenge

2024/25 budget case to the Scottish Government

Universities remain at the heart of the Scottish Government’s strategy and policy. We are ambitious to grow our contribution to Scotland’s creation of a wellbeing economy, driving a green economic recovery to meet climate and nature targets and ensuring that we maximise the benefits as part of a just transition.

That contribution is already significant. We offer:

  • opportunity to tens of thousands of learners and the skills that employers need;
  • we are essential to Scotland’s vision to be one of the most innovative small nations in the world;
  • we are partners in our communities in eradicating poverty; and,
  • we are key to the staffing, skills and enhancement of our public services.

This budget will be a challenging one for the Scottish Government and it comes at a time of challenge for the sector and its learners. The pressures on the public finances mean that it is crucial that Scottish Government prioritises investments that will have a strong economic and social return.

We also set out some of the significant and intensifying risks that the sector faces, driven in substantial part by cuts over the last decade. Whilst recognising that Scottish Government cannot address these fully within this budget, we ask that it commits to use the review processes that it has commenced, in particular actions under the ‘purpose and principles’, the Innovation Strategy and ‘Entrepreneurial Campus’ to address these risks meaningfully over the medium to long term, into the next Scottish Parliament.

Read our full budget case: Opportunity and inclusive growth in a time of challenge.

Key Points:

Three of our key asks in this budget are:

  • Increased funding per student to support teaching, learning and wider student needs
  • Increased funding across all of SFC’s research and innovation grants to meet the ambitions of the innovation strategy
  • Restoration of 2022 levels of capital funding to meet sector estates challenges including RAAC


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