Scottish Government budget outcomes: tough choices for universities

The Scottish Government’s 2024/25 budget, published on 19 December has indicated there will be £28.5 million of cuts to the university teaching grant. This leaves universities with tough choices to be made as funding continues to erode within the sector.

Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland:

“The budget outcome for universities means there’s a need to find £28.5 million of savings from universities’ teaching grants in one year. That forces rock-and-hard place choices for the Scottish Government; either reduce the number of places at university or further deplete how much public funding spent on the education of every Scottish student. The availability of places for Scots is at a historic high but any change to numbers is immediately visible. The other option sits below-the-surface but exacerbates an already chronic set of pressures facing students, staff and the sustainability of institutions. We need a very close dialogue with universities over the coming months to work it through, but the scope for creative solutions to avoid either outcome is very limited given how lean university funding now is.”