Commenting after the colleges debate in the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:
"There is a real risk that the Education Secretary will be the last person left defending the deep cuts to the budget of Scotland's colleges.
"Again today, rather than acknowledge the widespread concerns of students, staff and colleges on the impact these damaging cuts will have, Mr Russell resorted to attacking his opponents for even bringing the issue to Parliament.
"Yesterday the First Minister emphasised the priority he attaches to tackling youth unemployment, a fight in which Scotland's colleges have a key role to play. Last week, the Finance Secretary invited the other parties in parliament to discuss how the government's Budget might be improved.
"It seems the only person unwilling to accept and argue the case for an improved funding settlement for our colleges is the Education Secretary.
"This is a remarkable position for him to take and suggests that Mr Russell's pride is blinding him to what needs to be done for our colleges.
"Scotland's colleges improve the life chances of thousands of people, of all ages in all parts of the country.
"Colleges provide students with the skills they need to get up and get on and they deserve a much fairer deal from the Scottish Government's Budget."