Funding of further and higher education etc.
Section 9 Funding of the Council
17.This section defines the funding that Scottish Ministers can provide to the Council. Ministers have discretion to impose terms and conditions on funding. Subsections (3) to (9) set out particular matters to which the terms and conditions may relate. Subsections (3), (5) to (10), and (13) to (17) describe the way in which Ministers may use conditions of grant to control tuition fee levels. This section will allow Ministers, as part of the terms and conditions on the Council, to require the Council to secure that a set fee is paid by specified persons to fundable bodies if attending specified courses or programmes. Ministers will set the fee level by subordinate legislation, which is subject to the affirmative procedure and a duty to consult certain persons (as set out in subsections (13) to (16)).
18.Subsections (5) to (7) are excluded from subsection (12) which prevents Ministers from framing terms and conditions around the allocation of funding in reference to particular programmes of learning, courses of education or research. Subsection (12) follows the similar terms of section 42(3) of the 1992 Act in regard to Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, and extends this element of academic freedom from higher education institutions to all fundable bodies.
Section 10 Additional grants
19.This section allows Ministers to make additional grants to the Council for specific purposes, for example, to explore collaboration and restructuring of provision and, in limited circumstances, to specify to which fundable bodies these grants should be made.
Section 11 Administration of funds
20.Section 10 sets out the purposes for which the Council can administer its funds.
Section 12 Funding of fundable bodies
21.This section sets out the terms and conditions under which the Council can make grants to fundable bodies for the provision of fundable further and higher education and the undertaking of research. This section also allows the Council to allocate funds to fundable bodies, or other persons to support these activities. Subsection (3) sets out conditions that may be imposed in relation to recovery of grant. Subsection (4) directs that terms and conditions may only be imposed in relation to the application by the fundable body of sums derived from the Scottish Ministers.
22.This includes the requirement for the Council to consult with the fundable body (unless it is not expedient to do so), and if it considers appropriate, such persons as represent fundable bodies, before framing terms or conditions of grant (subsection (5)). When allocating its funds, subsection (6) sets out the requirement for the Council to have regard to encouraging fundable bodies to maintain and develop funding from other sources, and to preserve the distinctive characteristics of particular fundable bodies.