HC Deb 19 February 1996 vol 272 c14
15. Mr. Dafis

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consideration he has given to the funding formula for the further education colleges. [14172]

Mr. Richards

It is for the Further Education Funding Council for Wales to determine, within the total provision made available to it by the House, the allocation of funds to further education institutions in Wales.

Mr. Dafis

The Welsh Office and its Ministers are responsible for ensuring that a proper range of courses is available to students in further education in all parts of Wales. Does that not mean that we must have a more realistic formula for funding colleges that serve sparsely populated areas and therefore have limited scope for recruitment? Will the Minister ensure that at the end of the year, when the funding formula is revisited, changes are made to ensure that Coleg Ceredigion and others receive an adequate level of funding?

Mr. Richards

The recurring funding methodology takes account of the courses that are available. It consists of three stages: recruitment, learning and attainment. The volume of units earned at each stage gives colleges incentives to help students to choose the most appropriate learning programme. The funding methodology is also fine-tuned to reward widening participation, plurality factors, which the hon. Gentleman mentioned, and bilingualism.