The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has been commissioned by Scottish Government to review the coherence and sustainability of further and higher education in Scotland. The RSE convened a Chatham House Rule roundtable involving Fellows and members of the Young Academy of Scotland to discuss the key issues that the review should address.
The discussion highlighted the need to:
- Consider more creative and flexible ways of delivering learning and teaching that meet the needs of learners and employers;
- Develop a tertiary education system that can flexibly and agilely respond to changing skills needs;
- Ensure lifelong learning is realised in practice;
- Consider whether the SFC should play a more active role in influencing the research agenda for Scottish institutions;
- Consider underlying Scottish Government policy assumptions about the future shape and funding of tertiary education. While continued ‘free’ tuition for full-time Scottish students is a legitimate policy choice for government to make, it constrains the review and puts pressure on Scotland’s public finances. It is therefore important that the SFC adopts an open mind; and
- Look at the learner journey more broadly to improve collaboration between schools, colleges and universities and to make the most effective and efficient use of the public investment in education.