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Dundee LibDems reveal large waiting list at Dundee College

January 30, 2010 8:26 AM
Dundee College

Dundee College

Following the Scottish Liberal Democrats publishing figures on Thursday showing that many colleges are turning away four times as many applicants as last year and long waiting lists at many colleges, Dundee City Council Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Cllr Fraser Macpherson, today (Saturday 30th January) said that through a Freedom of Information Request made by the Liberal Democrats, it had been revealed that Dundee College has a waiting list of 765.

It also revealed that there were over 11 000 applications for less than 4 500 places at the college in its 2009/10 intake.

Again, locally, it was revealed that Angus College has had to turn away 75 full time students.

At First Minister's Questions earlier this week, Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Tavish Scott MSP challenged Alex Salmond to make next week's Budget respond to this growing challenge. Commenting after First Minister's Questions, Mr Scott said, "There has been a dramatic increase this year in the number of people turned away from Scotland's colleges because there aren't enough places. Many colleges are turning away four times as many applicants as last year and some colleges have had to reject people for the very first time. Young people's career plans are being hit twice. With record unemployment they can't get a job and now they can't get a college place either.

"Unemployment is still going up in Scotland. The number of young people claiming jobseekers' allowance has gone up 35% in the last year. We are the only part of Britain where the claimant count is still rising."

In Dundee, Cllr Macpherson said, "Dundee College is an excellent local educational establishment, providing many top quality courses and providing people with the necessary skills to secure future employment. It is concerning that nearly 800 people are on the waiting list and it reinforces the point made by Tavish Scott at First Minister's Questions earlier this week that the SNP government has to act in this year's budget to improve levels of funding to allow colleges to better meet the demand for college places. There's nearly 300 people on the waiting list for Dundee College's Hospitality, Tourism, Hair and Beauty courses alone, with nearly as many on the waiting list for admission to courses on Care and Social Studies."

Alison McInnes, MSP for North East Scotland added, "There has been a dramatic increase this year in the number of people turned away from Scotland's colleges because there aren't enough places.

Many colleges are turning away four times as many applicants as last year and some colleges have had to reject people for the very first time. In Angus, despite having no additional funding, they increased recruitment by 10% to their maximum capacity. There were still 75 students who were unable to be taken on to their preferred course despite fulfilling the criteria.

Young people's career plans are being hit twice. With record unemployment they can't get a job and now they can't get a college place either. The Scottish Liberal Democrats raised this with the First Minister as part of our Budget negotiations and our figures show why action here matters for Scotland."

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